Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Linda Alexander, EdD

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS

Committee Member

Robin Vanderpool, DrPH, CHES



Introduction. African American female intimate partner victims (IVP) are more likely to abuse substances, suffer from depression and anxiety, and experience mental health issues, including PTSD, all of which are risk factors for smoking. The purpose of this study is to determine among African American women who have ever experienced IPV the prevalence of smoking and whether it is influenced by education and income.

Methods. Data for this study comes from the 2005 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state-based Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This primary study population was African American females who answered IPV-related questions in 12 states. For the purposes of this analysis, 2,641 African American women were included in the study. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the sample. Frequencies were used to analyze the sociodemographic characteristics of study participants. Bivariate analysis using chi-square test was performed to determine the association of African American women who experience any IPV by those who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes. Multivariate analysis using chi-square tests assessed the relationship between IPV and cigarette smoking, stratified by income and education levels.

Results. Approximately one-quarter of African American women reported experiencing any IPV (28.9%). Similarly, about one-third of women reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes (30.1%). African American women who experienced any IPV were more likely to smoke (40.0%) compared to women who had not experienced any IPV (25.9%) (p= <0.001). Women with lower educational levels were more likely to smoke (31.7%) compared to women who had higher education levels (28.4%); however, these results were not statistically significant (p=0.067). African American women who made less than $25,000 smoked at a higher rate (37.0%) than women who made $25,000-$50,000 (27.9%), and women who made $50,000 or more (22.7%) (P<0.001).

Discussion. African American women who are victims of IPV are more likely to smoke, regardless of how educated they may be or how much money they earn. Further research is needed to determine potential barriers faced by African American women IPV victims, and their success with integrated smoking cessation and IPV recovery programs.

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