Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Aashir Nasim


THE PROTECTIVE ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL EMPOWERMENT ON TOBACCO USE BEHAVIORS By: Brittany M. Berry, B.A. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia Commonwealth University, 2011 Major Director: Aashir Nasim Associate Professor Department of Psychology The primary aim of this study was to determine the protective effects of psychological empowerment (i.e., the belief that one has the knowledge, capabilities, and authority to be an active agent in their own life and in the surrounding community) on the tobacco use behaviors of young adults. A secondary aim was to examine whether religiosity confers a protective advantage to psychologically empowered individuals within an African American subsample. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the main and interaction effects of psychological empowerment and religiosity on the current cigarette use behaviors of 798 young adult, college students. The findings suggest a link between empowerment, religiosity, and tobacco use such that the protective effects of empowerment and religious support on cigarette use behaviors may be codependent. This research provides insight on the mutual dependence of protective factors for tobacco use and suggests an expansion of current risks and protective factors models.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Included in

Psychology Commons