Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Brown, Stephen

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF JEVONNE DELORES BRADLEY, for the DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY degree in HEALTH EDUCATION, presented October 17, 2012. TITLE: ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, AND RELATIONAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE HEALTH AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION OF CHRISTIAN AFRICAN AMERICAN MOTHER-DAUGHTER DYADS: A SOCIAL COGNITIVE THEORY ANALYSIS. MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Stephen Brown, Ph.D. Physical inactivity is a major health risk factor in the United States (US) and African American women are the least active segment of the US society. African American women's choices to be active or inactive can be well understood by carefully examining the meaning they ascribe to physical activity and health. The primary purpose of the proposed study was to describe and explain environmental, relational, and social factors that influence the health and physical activity participation of Christian African American mother-daughter dyads. The secondary purpose of this study was to use constructs of the Social Cognitive Theory to explain the personal, social and environmental determinants of physical activity among Christian African American mother-daughter dyads and to investigate how networking within the church can provide a venue for African American mother-daughter dyads to experience physical activity. The research paradigm was qualitative situated in Social Cognitive Theory. The purposefully sampled participants were Christian African American mother-daughter dyads. This population was chosen because a large segment of African American women attend churches in southern Illinois and the church is a cornerstone institution to convey information for African American women. The study was comprised of 35 participants who ranged in ages from 15 to 68 years-old. These participants represented a combination of African American mother-daughter dyads. The mean age of the mothers was 49.7 and their age range was 32-68, SD= 11.2. The mean age of the daughters was 23.5 and their age range was 15-34, SD=6.37. Data resources included focus group discussions and interviews guided by Social Cognitive Theory. Several themes emerged from the data associated with the participants' health and physical activity experiences. These themes included health as a motivator to participate in physical activity, body image, social support, and barriers influencing participation in physical activity. Outcomes from the study were examines to assist in planning physical activity programs. These physical activity programs were designed to promote health education, increase the quality and years of life, and address health disparities.

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