STRESS AND COPING: FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE HEALTH STATUS OF BLACK MEN
Cummings, Tawana 1978-
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Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health status, but the health status of Black men does not improve at the same rate as their White counterparts with increases in SES. There is minimal literature on factors that influence the health status of Black men from improving with SES. The purpose of this study is to explore both stress and coping as possible factors that influence this population’s health status. The theories of fundamental social causes, stress and coping, and self-efficacy were used to inform the relationship between SES, stress, coping, and health status for Black males. The research questions include: 1) Is higher SES associated with a better health status for Black males?, 2) What is the relationship between SES and perceived stress for Black males?, 3) What is the relationship between SES and coping for Black males?, and 4) Do perceived stress and coping mediate the relationship between SES and health status for Black males?. The study included a convenience sample of 251 Black males between the ages of 25 and 45, recruited from two locations, a health clinic and a graduate level Black fraternity in a large metropolitan city. The data from four instruments were analyzed using SPSSv18 to answer the study questions using bivariate correlations and multivariate regression analyses. Data analysis interpretation indicated that there was a positive relationship between both SES and health status and SES and coping. There also was a negative relationship between SES and perceived stress. Several regression analyses were conducted to determine that coping was a mediator between SES and mental health status of Black men. Stress was only a mediator between SES and mental health status of Black men when coping was also included as a mediator. Stress and coping were not identified as significant predictors of physical health status of Black men. These findings suggest salient factors that may influence the health status of Black men, and have implications for social work practitioners and researchers working to improve the health status of this population.