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J Natl Med Assoc. 2009 Aug;101(8):793-9.

Psychosocial factors associated with weight control expectancies in treatment-seeking African American smokers.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 248185, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751, USA.


African Americans are disproportionately affected by tobacco smoking and obesity. As weight control expectancies can reinforce smoking maintenance, the purpose of this study was to explore psychosocial factors related to expectancies for weight control among African Americans seeking cessation treatment. African American smokers (N = 117) provided information on demographics, family medical history, personal risk factors, smoking, weight control expectancies and concerns, perceived stress, and acculturation. Multivariate analyses examined hypotheses regarding determinants of weight control expectancies. Fifty-one percent of participants were concerned about gaining weight upon cessation. Positive expectations for weight control through smoking were associated with older age, a family history of heart disease, greater perceived stress, and a lower level of acculturation. In conclusion, many African American smokers are concerned about postcessation weight gain: expectations for weight control through smoking are most evident those with elevated perceived stress, traditional African American cultural values, and a family history of chronic illness. Needed are culturally specific smoking cessation interventions that include weight management strategies as an adjunct to smoking cessation treatments.

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