Sociocultural stress, smoking risk, and cessation among African American women

Anita Fernander, Mitzi Schumacher, Aashir Nasim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The common explanation as to why individuals smoke is that the act of smoking relieves psychological stress, yet very few studies have examined the association between stress and smoking from a sociocultural perspective among African American women. The current study examined the paradigm of sociocultural stress and its association between smoking risk and likelihood of quitting among African American women. One hundred ninety-eight African American women, approximately half of whom were current smokers, completed a battery of questionnaires that included a smoking risk survey and measures of acculturation, stress, and coping. A theoretically based path analytic model revealed that the acculturative stress factors of cultural mistrust (β =.39) and socialization (β =.17) were predictive of perceptions of race-related stress (R2 =.18), which were predictive of the number of race-related events experienced (R2 =.51), which contributed to reports of general life stress (R2 =.07), which was subsequently associated with smoking risk (R2 = .03). The findings suggest that smoking cessation intervention programs for African American women should be tailored to address sociocultural issues related to stress that impacts their smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-69
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • African American women
  • Smoking
  • Sociocultural stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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