Depressed mood and environmental mastery as potential pathways linking family relationship quality and disease self-management for African Americans with hypertension

Sarah B. Woods, Angela Hiefner, Patricia N.E. Roberson, Nida Zahra, Elizabeth Mayfield Arnold, Victoria Udezi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

African Americans are at significantly greater risk of hypertension and worse cardiovascular outcomes than other racialized groups, yet hypertension intervention effects remain limited. Thus, it is necessary to understand the potential mechanisms whereby interventions may be more effectively targeted to improve health. Supported by prior research evidence and guided by the Biobehavioral Family Model, this study examined associations between family relationship quality, psychological wellbeing, and self-management behaviors for African Americans with hypertension. Data were pooled from three Midlife Development in the U.S. projects, resulting in a sample of 317 African Americans (63.4% female, Mage = 53.32) with self-reported high blood pressure in the past 12 months. We tested four cross-sectional multiple mediator models, with depressed mood and environmental mastery mediating associations between family strain and exercise, smoking, problematic alcohol use, and stress-eating. Environmental mastery mediated the association between greater family strain and decreased odds of achieving recommended exercise levels; greater odds of reporting problematic alcohol use; and greater stress-eating. Though family strain was associated with depressed mood in each model, this variable did not serve as an indirect pathway to self-management behaviors. Family strain, and the potential pathway identified via environmental mastery, may be a meaningful predictor of disease self-management for African Americans with hypertension. Longitudinal studies are needed to examine directionality and to support intervention trials for improving self-management and hypertension outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamily Process
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • family relations
  • healthcare disparities
  • hypertension
  • minority health
  • psychological resilience
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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