All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Elizabeth Baker

Advisory Committee Members

Paula C Chandler-Laney

Bisakha Sen

Joseph D Wolfe

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


Drawing on the sociological theories of fundamental causes and social support, it was hypothesized that exercise during pregnancy would be positively associated with both socioeconomic status (SES) and social support for exercise and that the association between SES and exercise levels would be at least partially explained by attitudes towards exercise. It was also hypothesized that there would be a positive interaction between SES and social support for exercise in relation to exercise levels during pregnancy. Cross-sectional observational data was obtained from a survey of pregnant women, predominantly from those accessing prenatal care at Birmingham, AL area obstetric clinics. The primary dependent variable was an assessment of exercise activity levels by the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ). The primary independent variables of interest were years of school, household income, attitudes towards exercise, and social support for exercise. Years of school, household income, and attitudes towards exercise are all positively related to PPAQ-exercise activity, but attitudes towards exercise do not explain the relationships between years of school or household income and PPAQ-exercise activity. Social support for exercise, whether from family or friends, is positively associated with PPAQ-exercise activity, but only family social support for exercise positively interacts with SES in its relationship to PPAQ-exercise activity. This study has implications for clinical trials and public health interventions aimed at augmenting exercise adherence during pregnancy to improve exercise recommendations to pregnant women and enhance maternal and child health.



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