The Complex Relationship between Race, Gender, and Smoking Behavior Open Access

Greene, Kevin Mortimer (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8w32r632z?locale=en
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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Smoking contributes to the three leading causes of death for blacks in the United States: heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Researchers show that sociodemographic variables are associated with the initiation and continuation of cigarette smoking. In this dissertation I argue that factors that may induce or inhibit stress for blacks-perceived discrimination, social support, and locus of control- may differentially affect their smoking behavior. Thus, I examine how each of these factors affect stress and smoking behavior. In addition, I investigate whether gender influences how black men and women perceive these factors and how distress may mediate the relationship between these factors and smoking. Predictions stem from theoretical perspectives as well as previous empirical research. To examine these factors, I use data from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL). This dataset includes a nationally representative sample of black adults aged 18 who reside in urban and rural areas throughout the United States. I test models of the effects of stress-inducing factors, along with controls, on depression and smoking behavior (likelihood of smoking and amount of smoking). Results show that depression does not mediate between stress-inducing factors and smoking behavior. Perceived discrimination has a positive effect on depression for black men and women, and is positively related to the likelihood of smoking for men and negatively related for women. Other factors also affected depression levels. For women, social support from family reduced depression whereas for men, social support from friends lowered depression levels. Yet the extent to which women provided support to their families increased both the likelihood and amount of their smoking. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness were positively related to depression for both black men and women. Hopelessness also directly affected the amount that black men smoked. For black women, depression did increase the amount of smoking. I also found interactions between helplessness, hopelessness, and social support for black men and women smokers. Future research should examine how gender interacts with perceived discrimination to understand its differential effects of these factors, as well as how gender patterns for social support and locus of control relate to coping strategies.

Table of Contents




Table of Contents




Chapter 1.
Introduction................................................................................................1

Chapter 2.
Background of Race, Gender, and Health..................................................9

Chapter 3.
Stress Process Model Process and Predictions………………….…........33

Chapter 4.
Methodology............................................................................................65

Chapter 5.
Results……………..................................................................................78


Chapter 6.
Conclusion................................................................................................89

References...................................................................................................................…100




























List of Tables



Table 1: Descriptive Statistics for Independent and Dependent Variables for Smokers
and Non-Smokers in the National Survey of American Life (Demographic
Variables)....................................................................................................122

Table 2: Descriptive Statistics for Independent and Dependent Variables for Smokers in
the National Survey of American Life (Demographic
Variables)....................................................................................................125

Table 3: Logistic Regression Estimates for Smoking Behavior (Yes/No) (All
Respondents and Gender-based Subgroups-Dichotomous Dependent
Variable)......................................................................................................128

Table 4: OLS Regression Estimates for Number of Cigarettes Smoked per
Day……......................................................................................................131

Table 5: OLS Regression Estimates for Depression (Smokers and Non-Smoker)...133

Table 6: OLS Regression Estimates for Depression (Smokers Only)…….....…….135

Table 7: OLS and Logistic Regression Estimates for Depression on Smoking Behavior
(Non-Smokers and Smokers) (All Respondents and Gender-based Subgroups-
Dichotomous and Continuous Dependent
Variables)………........................................................................................137

Table 8: Logistic Regression Estimates for Smoking Behavior (Yes/No) (All
Respondents and Gender-based Subgroups-Dichotomous Dependent
Variable)......................................................................................................139

Table 9: OLS Regression Estimates for Number of Cigarettes Smoked per
Day……......................................................................................................142











List of Figures



Figure 1: Theoretical Model of Factors that Affect Smoking
Behavior....................................................................................................145

Figure 2a: Empirical Representation of Factors that Affect Smoking

Behavior for Black Men Likelihood of Smoking……………………….146

Figure 2b: Empirical Representation of Factors that Affect Smoking

Behavior for Black Men Amount of Smoking………………………..…147

Figure 3a: Empirical Representation of Factors that Affect Smoking

Behavior for Black Men Likelihood of Smoking……………………….148

Figure 3b: Empirical Representation of Factors that Affect Smoking

Behavior for Black Men Amount of Smoking………………………..…149













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