Objective: Poorer health profiles among African American men throughout the life course evince greater rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and significantly earlier mortality compared with other groups. Despite growing emphasis on identifying how psychosocial factors influence disparate disease risk, little of this research has focused intently on African American men. Methodology: Using hierarchical linear regression, we explored the additive influence of stress, depression, and perceived control on pulse pressure, an established marker of CVD risk, in a sample (N = 153) of African American men (mean age = 66.73 ± 9.29) from the Baltimore Study of Black Aging (BSBA). Results: After accounting for age and health status indicators, perceived control emerged as a significant predictor of pulse pressure. Discussion: These findings suggest that greater belief in one's own efficacy is a protective factor for cardiovascular health among African American men. Future research should examine whether enhancing perceived control can have an appreciable impact on the immense CVD burden in this and other at-risk populations.
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