Stress, coping, and health outcomes among African-Americans: A review of the John Henryism hypothesis

Journal Article

The John Henryism (JH) hypothesis argues that prolonged high-effort coping with chronic psychosocial stressors may be associated with elevated risk for negative health outcomes among those without sufficient socioeconomic resources. Early JH studies found a significant association between high JH, low socioeconomic status, and hypertension among African-Americans. More recently, these findings have been extended to a wide array of health status outcomes, including cardiovascular reactivity, neurohormonal secretion, and negative health behaviors. The present review provides a comprehensive overview of JHs conceptual bases and empirical support. Limitations of the construct are discussed and recommendations are made to guide future theoretical and research efforts in the area.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bennett, GG; Merritt, MM; III, JJS; Edwards, CL; Whitfield, KE; Brandon, DT; Tucker, RD

Published Date

  • 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 369 - 383

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0887-0446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/0887044042000193505