The cultural context of active coping: John Henryism in an urban sample of African-Americans and White-Americans

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Ron Duran - Committee Chair


Studies examining the construct of John Henryism have not been consistent in revealing associations between coping styles, socioeconomic status, and blood pressure in African-Americans and White-Americans due to inconsistencies in sample cohorts, socioeconomic indices, and a variety of methodological constraints. The study investigated the joint influence of education and John Henry active coping (John Henryism) on blood pressure in an urban sample of White-American (n = 192) and African-American (n = 147) adults aged 25--54 years. The results of the study revealed John Henry active coping is a moderator in the established relationship between education and blood pressure in African-Americans. Specifically, analyses revealed that African-American subjects with Low John Henry scores and Low Education exhibited significantly higher diastolic blood pressure than subjects with Low John Henry scores and High Education, subjects with High John Henry scores and Low education, and subjects with High John Henry scores and High Education.The JHAC12 demonstrated ethno-cultural sensitivity. The findings are discussed in terms of environmental and social context. The findings add meaningful insight for coping literature, reinforcing the idea that social and cultural context is important when examining coping among diverse groups.


Black Studies; Psychology, Behavioral; Psychology, Clinical; Psychology, Physiological

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