All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Dorothy W Pekmezi

Advisory Committee Members

Nefertiti H Durant

Gareth Dutton

Connie Kohler

Terri Lewis

Lori Turner

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health

Abstract

Background.African American women report low levels of physical activity and share a disproportionate burden of many health conditions associated with being insufficiently active, indicating the need for innovative approaches to promote physical activity in this population. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate changes in physical activity and associated Social Cognitive Theory constructs of outcome expectations, enjoyment, self-regulation, and social support following the completion of a six month, culturally-adapted, Social Cognitive Theory-based website-delivered weight loss and physical activity intervention for young African-American women. Methods.A secondary data analysis was performed on African-American female college students (N=34) enrolled in a web-based weight loss and physical activity pilot study. Bivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine associations between the Social Cognitive Theory constructs and baseline physical activity levels. Paired t-tests were used to assess pre-post changes in the Social Cognitive Theory variables and physical activity from baseline to six months. Bivariate regression analyses were used to assess whether pre-post changes in the Social Cognitive Theory variables were associated with pre-post changes in physical activity. Due to the preliminary nature of the pilot study, statistical significance was set at p<.10. Results.Participants had a mean age of 21.21 (SD=2.31) years and mean BMI of 35.4 (SD=6.82). No significant bivariate relationships emerged between the Social Cognitive Theory variables and physical activity at baseline. Intent-to-treat analyses showed participants increased their moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity from 75.5 minutes/week (SD=72.9) at baseline to 92.41 minutes/week (SD=85.3) at six months (p=.15) and reported significant increases in self-regulation for physical activity (p=.03) and social support for physical activity from friends (p=.03). Analyses among study completers showed an increase of 33.23 minutes/week of physical activity (SD=97.7) and similar increases in both self-regulation and social support. Pre-post changes in the Social Cognitive Theory variables were not significantly associated with pre-post changes in physical activity. ConclusionParticipants reported significant improvements in social support from friends and self-regulation for physical activity. The promising physical activity findings call for future studies with larger samples to further explore the applicability of culturally adapted web-based approaches to promote physical activity in this understudied population.

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