African–American Women’s Tobacco and Marijuana Use: The Effects of Social Context and Substance Use Perceptions

Carrie B. Oser, Kathi Harp, Erin Pullen, Amanda M. Bunting, Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Michele Staton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the status of tobacco and marijuana as two of the most commonly used substances in the U.S., both have detrimental health and social consequences for disfranchized African–Americans. Substance use may be shaped by social contextual influences from families and peers in African–American communities, and little research has examined perceptions of wrongfulness, harms, and dangers associated with daily tobacco and marijuana use among African–American women. Objectives: This study explores the effects of African–American women’s social context and substance use perceptions (wrongfulness/harmfulness/dangerousness) on daily tobacco and marijuana use. Methods: Survey data was collected in-person from 521 African–American women. Multivariate logistic models identified the significant correlates of women’s daily use of tobacco and marijuana in the past six months. Results: 52.59% of participants reported daily tobacco use and 10.56% used marijuana daily. Multivariate models indicated that women were more likely to be daily tobacco users if they had a family member with a substance use problem or perceived tobacco use to be wrong, harmful, or more dangerous than marijuana. In the models with marijuana as the dependent variable, women who lived with a person who used drugs were more likely to use marijuana daily. Perceiving marijuana use as wrong or harmful to one’s health was protective against daily marijuana use. Conclusions: Findings stress the need for prevention and intervention efforts for African–American women that highlight social context influences and promote greater awareness of the health risks associated with daily tobacco and marijuana use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-884
Number of pages12
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 12 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • African–American women
  • marijuana
  • social context
  • substance use perceptions
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'African–American Women’s Tobacco and Marijuana Use: The Effects of Social Context and Substance Use Perceptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this