183668 Identity-based motivation and smoking among low income African American adults

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tracy L. Finlayson, PhD , Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Shawna J. Lee, PhD , School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Daphna Oyserman, PhD , School of Social Work - Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Objective: Tobacco use is high among African Americans. This study examines whether viewing smoking as in-group defining is associated with higher propensity to smoke and if this effect is moderated by centrality of racial identity or experiences of discrimination that may also make race more central.

Methods: Original 2004 survey data come from a community sample of 91 self-rated lower income African American adults in southeastern Michigan. Participants answered the Everyday Discrimination and adapted Centrality of Social Identity scales, measures of perceived in-group norms, self-reported smoking habits, and background socio-demographic characteristics. ANOVA and logistic regression analyses were conducted in SPSS, with current smokers as the outcome.

Results: Almost half (48%) the sample smoked. Race was central to self-concept, experiences of discrimination were infrequent (less than once/year on average), and smoking was more likely to be seen as normative for the in-group among smokers. The main effect of perceived in-group normativeness of smoking (Odds Ratio = 2.98, 95% Confidence Interval 2.02-3.94, p<.05) was not moderated by experiences of discrimination or centrality of race to self-concept. That is, individuals who felt other African Americans smoked often were about three times more likely to smoke, regardless of centrality of racial identity and experiences of discrimination. No other variables related to smoking.

Conclusions: Results suggest that interventions to prevent smoking initiation or provide support for smoking cessation interventions for African Americans should account for in-group smoking norms, given its positive association with individuals' likelihood of smoking.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the relationship between perceived norms around smoking and smoking behavior in this African American sample. 2. Discuss implications for developing targeted smoking interventions that include perceived smoking norms.

Keywords: Smoking, African American

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted all aspects of the research, including survey development, data collection & data analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.