Relationships between Perceived Stress and Health Behaviors in a Sample of Working Adults

Debbie M. Ng, Robert W. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

494 Scopus citations


The study examined associations between perceived stress and fat intake, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking behaviors. Data were from surveys of 12,110 individuals in 26 worksites participating in the SUCCESS project (D. J. Hennrikus, R. W. Jeffery, & H. A. Lando, 1995), a study of smoking cessation interventions. Linear regression analyses examined cross-sectional associations between stress level and health behaviors. Analyses were stratified by gender and controlled for demographics. High stress for both men and women was associated with a higher fat diet, less frequent exercise, cigarette smoking, recent increases in smoking, less self-efficacy to quit smoking, and less self-efficacy to not smoke when stressed. Stress was not associated with alcohol intake. Findings suggest that the association between stress and disease may be moderated in part by unhealthy behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-642
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2003


  • Adults
  • Alcohol
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Smoking
  • Stress


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