Familial Financial Assistance and Body Mass Index in Black College Graduates

Caryn N. Bell, Courtney S. Thomas Tobin, Brenda Robles, Erica C. Spears, Roland J. Thorpe,

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Racial disparities in obesity are larger between Black and White college graduates compared to disparities among those who did not complete high school. A possible explanation is that Black adults with higher socioeconomic status (SES) experience unique obesogenic determinants. Black adults who have completed a 4-year college degree can report “uplift stress” from providing financial assistance to family members. The aim of this study is to determine whether the association between familial financial assistance and body mass index (BMI) varies among college-educated Black women and men. This study utilized data from an online survey of Qualtrics standing panels including 451 non-Hispanic Black college graduates. Respondents were asked if they had provided or received any monetary gift or financial help from a family member in the past 12 months as well as their height and weight. Using linear regression and multiplicative interaction terms, the association between familial financial assistance and BMI was assessed by sex. Those who reported both giving and receiving familial financial assistance had higher BMI than those who neither gave nor received assistance (β = 2.80, standard error (s.e.) = 1.16). There was a significant interaction such that this association was observed among women only (β = 6.67, s.e. = 2.32). Future studies should seek to understand the gendered impact of familial financial assistance on BMI in college-educated Black women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1850-1860
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Black adults
  • Body mass index
  • Gender
  • Kin support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Anthropology
  • Health Policy
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Familial Financial Assistance and Body Mass Index in Black College Graduates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this