244602 Psychosocial stress and tobacco smoking among African American adults

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Natalie Slopen, MA , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Lauren Dutra, MA , Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA
David R. Williams, PhD, MPH , Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Psychosocial stress is a significant risk factor for smoking, and African Americans experience particularly high levels of stress relative to other racial and ethnic groups. However, limited research exists on the relationship between psychosocial stress and smoking status among African Americans. A sample of African American adults (ages 34 to 85, n=592) was recruited from Milwaukee, Wisconsin as part of the Midlife United States Study, Wave II (2004-2006). Measures of psychosocial stress included psychological and physical work stress, work-family spillover, perceived inequality, relationship stress, discrimination, financial stress, recent problems, stressful events, early life adversity, and a cumulative summary score. Current smokers were significantly more likely than never smokers to score high on the subscales for psychological work stress, perceived inequality, relationship stress, neighborhood stress, discrimination, financial stress, stressful adult events, and stress summary score, after adjustment for age, gender, education, and income (p<.05; odds ratios-ORs- ranged from 1.74-2.97). Four of these types of stress (psychological work stress, relationship stress, neighborhood stress, stressful events) remained significant in a model that included all stressors concurrently (p<.05; ORs ranged from 1.92-2.20). Individuals who scored high on five or more stress domains were nearly four times as likely (OR=3.74, 95% CI: 2.09-6.71) to be current smokers, in comparison to individuals who reported no severe stressors. The results of this analysis demonstrate a strong relationship between stress and smoking behavior among urban African Americans, and suggest that it may be valuable for cessation programs to address modifiable stressors and the development of stress-management techniques.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Evaluate the relationship between specific types of psychosocial stress and smoking status. 2. Identify unique predictors of smoking within a low socioeconomic status African American urban community. 3. Differentiate the impact of the type of stressor and the total number of stressors experienced on smoking status.

Keywords: Stress, Smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a Public Health student at Harvard University conducting research under the supervision of an experienced faculty member and contributed to both the data analysis and writing of this abstract. I have no conflicts of interest related to this abstract.
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.