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01.12.2014 | Ausgabe 6/2014 Open Access

Journal of Urban Health 6/2014

The Association of Individual and Neighborhood Social Cohesion, Stressors, and Crime on Smoking Status Among African-American Women in Southeastern US Subsidized Housing Neighborhoods

Journal of Urban Health > Ausgabe 6/2014
Jeannette O. Andrews, Martina Mueller, Susan D. Newman, Gayenell Magwood, Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, Kellee White, Martha S. Tingen


The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between individual and neighborhood social contextual factors and smoking prevalence among African-American women in subsidized neighborhoods. We randomly sampled 663 adult women in 17 subsidized neighborhoods in two Southeastern US states. The smoking prevalence among participants was 37.6 %, with an estimated neighborhood household prevalence ranging from 30 to 68 %. Smokers were more likely to be older, have lower incomes, have lower BMI, and live with other smokers. Women with high social cohesion were less likely to smoke, although living in neighborhoods with higher social cohesion was not associated with smoking prevalence. Women with higher social cohesion were more likely to be older and had lived in the neighborhood longer. Women with high stress (related to violence and disorder) and who lived in neighborhoods with higher stress were more likely to smoke. Younger women were more likely to have higher stress than older women. There were no statistically significant associations with objective neighborhood crime data in any model. This is the first study to examine both individual and neighborhood social contextual correlates among African-American women in subsidized neighborhoods. This study extends findings about smoking behaviors and neighborhood social contexts in this high-risk, urban population. Future research is needed to explore age and residential stability differences and perceptions of social cohesion, neighborhood disorder, and perceived violence in subsidized housing. Further research is also warranted on African-American women, subsidized housing, smoking, social context, health disparities’ effective strategies to address these individual and contextual factors to better inform future ecological-based multilevel prevention, and cessation intervention strategies.

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