Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Advisor

Patrica J. Morokoff


This study examined cigarette smoking patterns in a low-income sample of pregnant women. The total sample included 142 white women and 56 Latinas. The participants were recruited as current smokers and recent quitters who received prenatal care at six urban health clinics in a northeastern locale. Recent quitters were women who had quit smoking less than one year prior to contact. Predictor variables were examined for both Latinas and white women in order to identify possible differences between the two groups. These variables focused on measures of addiction, social and familial predictors, and demographic information.

Several quantitative procedures were used to analyze the data. Results revealed that Latinas were as likely to be current smokers as their white counterparts. No difference was found between the smoking rates of the parents of Latina and white participants, but there was a significant difference in the smoking rates of their partners. White women were more likely to have partners who smoked than Latina women. A significant difference was also found in the level of addiction to cigarettes between white and Latina participants. White women smoked significantly more cigarettes per day than Latinas (14 per day versus 9.7 cigarettes). Findings showed that although Latinas smoked fewer cigarettes per day than their white counterparts, there were comparable ratios of current smokers and recent quitters in both groups. Although white and Latina participants were equally educated (10.5 years of school), white participants had significantly higher incomes than their Latina counterparts. Specifically, white women were more likely to have incomes of $25,000 or more compared to Latinas who almost exclusively had incomes of less than $25,000. Suggestions for future research are presented and implications of these findings are discussed.



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