Determinants of Physical Activity Behavior and Self-Efficacy for Exercise Among African-American Women Residing in Rural Counties of Southern Alabama

Friday, July 15, 2011: 1:45 PM

Bridget K. Robinson, PhD, MSN, RN, RRT
Adult Health Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

Learning Objective 1: Discuss the relationship among SEE, religiosity, body image perception, body mass index, socioeconomic factors & physical activity behavior among AA women.

Learning Objective 2: Discuss the determinants of SEE and physical activity behavior in this sample of AA women residing in Alabama counties.

     The increased prevalence of death and disability, resulting from chronic illness, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus, for rural Alabamians is a top priority at the national, state and local levels. Reports indicate that certain southern states, more notably those located in the geographical region known as the Bible belt, have a high prevalence of obesity. Obesity, which worsens conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, is more prevalent among African Americans than any other population. 

     Physical activity has a positive effect on health outcomes. However, persistent physical inactivity has been an issue for African American (AA) women residing in the United States for over a decade and this holds true for Alabama. Although past studies suggest that socioeconomic disparity, differing perceptions related to religiosity, and body image could affect behavior, there is a dearth of literature that comprehensively explore the affect of these factors on physical activity behavior in AA women. Physical activity behavior and self-efficacy for exercise have been positively associated. Bandura’s SCT framework guided the design of the current study that comprehensively examines the relationships among self-efficacy for exercise, religiosity, body image perception, body mass index, socioeconomic factors and physical activity behavior among AA women. Additionally, this study examined the difference in the levels of the aforementioned variables among those women who reside in rural (defined by zip code) counties to those that did not and sought to explicate the predictors of self-efficacy for exercise and physical activity behavior among this sample of AA women. This cross-sectional, descriptive study examined physical activity behavior among AA women. Participants recruited from rural south Alabama counties completed six self-report instruments and height/weight was obtained and used to calculate the body mass index on each participant. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 17.0.