Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Coretta M. Jenerette


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in America. African American people have disparate CVD outcomes, and African American emerging adults (AAEAs) aged 18-25 have CVD risk factors. This study aimed to examine the state of CVD risk factors in AAEAs, assess upstream and population factors in AAEAs attending a southeastern historically black college/university (HBCU), compare their perceived and objective CVD risk, explore their level of CVD knowledge, and examine responses when they learn their objective CVD risk.

Chapter 1 presents background literature on CVD in AAEAs and the research plan. Chapter 2 presents a newly synthesized situation-specific theory (SST), Unlocking Population Specific Treatments to Render Equitable Approaches and Management in Nursing for Cardiovascular Disease (UPSTREAM CVD), to guide future research and clinical practice for AAEAs.

Chapters 3 and 4 are data-based manuscripts of studies that include an assessment of CVD upstream factors and population factors (constructs of the UPSTREAM CVD SST) in a cohort of AAEAs, and a comparison of CVD risk perception and objective CVD risk in AAEAs. Chapter 5 presents the conclusions of the research, a discussion of the implications for nursing research, education, and practice, and future research directions.


© 2023, Shannon Bright Smith

Available for download on Saturday, August 31, 2024

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