Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Human Performance and Health Promotion


Human Performance and Health Promotion

Major Professor

Anderson, Peter

Second Advisor

Kontos, Anthony

Third Advisor

Moody-Thomas, Sarah


This study examined factors that may protect African-American young adults in college from early onset of cigarette smoking, and factors that may place them at risk for cigarette smoking, using the framework of the Social Cognitive Theory. It was hypothesized that existing regulation of smoking, positive attitude toward academics and school connectedness would be related to low cigarette-smoking rates, while exposure to pro-tobacco promotions would be related to high cigarette smoking rates. A convenience sample of 576 undergraduates at Dillard University of New Orleans completed a Harvard College Alcohol Study survey. Forty six percent (n=269) completed the survey. Ninetyone percent were African American, and 13% of them were ever-smokers. Chi Square analysis was used to test for a statistically significant difference in response rates between eversmokers and non-smokers. Results indicated no significant differences between respondents for any outcome measures. The Social Cognitive Theory constructs were not supported by the findings.The results of this study do not support any of the hypotheses. The Social Cognitive Theory constructs used to examine the hypotheses are not supported by the findings. Future studies should address the limitations of this research by using a random sampling technique, sampling across all academic classification levels, and assessing the validity and reliability of the Harvard College Alcohol Study survey measures for cigarette smoking.


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