Show me the value: Exploring preventive health service use among emerging adults
Emerging adults exhibit characteristics dissimilar to other culturally constructed age groups such as adolescents and older adults. Access to healthcare amongst emerging adults has improved, as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), yet the translation of this access to preventive health services use has only seen modest changes in the U.S. and in Kansas. Post ACA, preventive health service (PHS) use such as routine health checkups are still only slightly higher than 50% for this population (Han, Yabroff, and Robbins, 2014) . Understanding how to increase emergent adults preventive health service use, has implications for the early detection and prevention of chronic diseases, the leading cause of death in the United States. This project used a grounded theory approach to see if a substantive theory emerged relative to factors that influence preventive health service use among emerging adults. Twenty one emerging adults were interviewed. Results identified eight themes centered within the constructs of causal conditions, context, strategies and consequence that influence emergent adult decision framing around preventive health service use. Results were validated through the process of member checking and testing the theory with persons outside of the sample population. The findings indicate that when coupled with the demands associated with the transition to adulthood, emerging adults frame preventive health service use as a loss with minimal return on investment. This results in non-use of such services. In order to increase use among this population, health care providers need to employ minimally invasive ways to offer preventive health services and greater incentives need to be attached to preventive health service use.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology