Date of Conferral





Public Health


Nicoletta M. Alexander


Native-born African Americans (NBAA) bear a disproportionate burden of the effect of hypertension (HTN) in comparison to other racial groups in the United States. West African immigrants (Foreign-born African Americans) appear to carry a heavier burden than the NBAA in the United States. Using the social support theory as a guide, this study examined the association between the need to meet socioeconomic responsibility of financial and familial obligations (SERFFO) and perceived stress and the increased likelihood of HTN among West African immigrants, aged 25-54 years, in the United States. In this quantitative, cross-sectional design, self-reported data were collected from a sample of West African immigrants (N = 339) in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex of Texas, using a demographic data/screening sheet, the Perceived Stress Scale and the Personal Financial Wellness Scale. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine the effect and degree of association between the dependent variable (DV), Hypertension, and the Independent Variables (IV), SERFFO, Perceived Stress, Age, Gender, Family HTN Status. Results indicated an association of SERFFO and Perceived Stress on the increased likelihood of HTN among Foreign Born African Americans in the United States of America. Family HTN Status recorded a greater likelihood of HTN. The results of this study will contribute to positive social change by leading public health agencies to target FBAA populations with HTN control programs.