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Tobacco Use Prevention: Culturally-Specific Protective Processes in College Students with Asthma

Vanessa Atra, Depts. of Biology, Psychology, & Chemistry, with Dr. Rosalie Corona, Dept. of Psychology

The African American and Latinx communities are disproportionately affected by health disparities such as cancer. Recent cancer statistics shows death rates of African American men and women at a high of 33% and 16%, respectively, as compared to Caucasian men and women1 it is the leading cause of death in Latinx individuals.2 Minority college students of this group have higher risk of developing cancer later in life; thus this study focuses on examining associations between cancer risk factors (e.g., stress, family history of cancer, poor asthma control), differences in cancer risks factors and tobacco use/frequency of use in African American and Latinx College students with asthma and how these factors are associated with secondhand smoke (SHS) and its outcomes. Recruitment is being done through telegram announcements, website text, text messages, flyers, and E-mail invitations. The investigators seek to recruit 200 college students in Virginia; 100 African Americans and 100 Latinx college students with asthma or who have asthma-like symptoms and are between the ages of 18 and 20. Screening forms and script survey are being used to determine participants eligibility, and participants receive $25 gift card for completing the questionnaires. So far, 135 students have completed the questionnaire on Redcap; the research is ongoing and is supposed to run for two years. The researchers will begin analysis of the data once the target sample size has been met.

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Rosalie Corona, Ph.D.


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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Tobacco Use Prevention: Culturally-Specific Protective Processes in College Students with Asthma