Original Article: PDF OnlyGonzalez Judith T. Ph.D.Cancer Nursing: June 1990 - p 134-142 Buy Abstract This descriptive study of low-income Mexican American women examined the central role of self-efficacy, or perceived capacity to perform a given activity, as it related to the frequency of breast self-examination (BSE), an important health practice for the early detection of breast cancer. Previous studies document the importance of self-efficacy as a predictor of health status, preventive self-care, and disease self-management. In turn, social support from others is a factor relating to self-efficacy. For Mexican Americans, previous research substantiates English language proficiency and barriers to access of health care as other predictors of compliance with recommended health care behaviors. Using bivariate correlations and analysis of variance, the findings revealed a strong relationship between self-efficacy and frequency of BSE. Neither social support nor barriers to health care had a significant effect on self-efficacy or frequency of BSE. The effects of English language proficiency are indirect and mediated by self-efficacy. This paper describes how these findings can be applied to the clinical practice goal of facilitating consistent and correct usage of BSE in the Mexican American community. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.