Subjective Social Status and Health Behaviors Among African Americans

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Objectives: To examine associations of the US and community subjective social status (SSS) ladders with smoking status, at-risk drinking, fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, and body mass index among 1467 church-going African American adults from a larger cohort study. Methods: Regression analyses, adjusted for sociodemographics, examined associations between SSS ladders and health behaviors. Results: The SSS-US ladder was significantly associated with fruit and vegetable consumption (p = .007) and physical activity (p = .005). The SSS-community ladder was not significantly associated with any health behaviors. Conclusions: Among this sample of African Americans, the SSS-US ladder is more predictive of some health behaviors than is the SSS-community ladder.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. 2: Department of Biostatistics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA 3: Department of Health Disparities Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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