Does Gender Moderate Associations Between Social Capital and Smoking? An Asian American Study
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Does Gender Moderate Associations Between Social Capital and Smoking? An Asian American Study

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    J Health Behav Public Health. 1(1):41-49
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    J Health Behav Public Health
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    Growing research finds that social capital is associated with smoking. However, most studies focus on white populations and do not take into account potential differences between genders. The present study examines the associations between social capital and self-report smoking status and assesses the moderating role of gender among a national representative sample of Asian American adults. Social capital consisted of measures of individual social connectedness (i.e. social ties with relatives and friends) and subjective evaluation of family and neighborhood environment (i.e. family and neighborhood cohesion, family conflict). Asian men were almost three times more likely to be current smokers than women (20.1% vs. 7.0%). Results of multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that family conflicts or higher levels of connectedness with family members were associated with increased odds of being a current smoker among Asian Americans as a whole. Further stratified analysis revealed significant gender differences in several aspects of social capital: there were stronger effects of social connectedness with family members on increasing the odds of smoking for women than for men. In addition, women who had closer connections to friends had greater odds of being current smokers, whereas the opposite was true for men. The findings of this study provide new evidence for the differential effects of social capital by gender, suggesting that more studies are needed to understand social capital's effects in different racial/ethnic populations and the mechanisms by which the effects vary with gender.
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