Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Lora Beebe

Committee Members

Sadie Hutson, Laurie Meschke, Mary Gunther Joanne Hall


The lack of physical activity (PA) among African American (AA) women is a predisposition to chronic diseases associated with obesity. Women, particularly AA women, who are between 35 and 60 years of age, are particularly noted to be at highest risk for developing obesity-related chronic diseases. Few PA studies have included AA women older than 25 years of age and younger than 65 years of age (Carter-Parker, Edwards, & McCleary-Jones, 2012).

All analyses were conducted using SPSS Version 21 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corporation) and statistical significance was assumed at an alpha value of .05. The assumption of normality for continuous variables was tested using skewness and kurtosis statistics. The statistical assumptions of linearity, normality, and homoscedasticity were analyzed using p-p plots and residual analysis. Pearson’s r correlation was used to test for associations between the survey instruments.

This exploratory cross-sectional, multivariate study used Pender’s (1996) Health Promotion Model (HPM) to explore whether personal factors and interpersonal influences have an impact on commitment to a plan of action for PA among AA women. The study sample consisted of 130 AA women 30 years and over in the southeastern section of the Unites States.

The major findings of this study indicated that personal factor, body image, did not influence AA women to commitment to a plan of action. However, interpersonal influences including family, friends, peers, and healthcare providers did have a significant impact on commitment to a plan of action for PA among AA women.

The significance of this study’s findings may guide healthcare professionals in developing strategies that will improve PA among AA women to reduce health disparities related to chronic diseases. Although findings of this study cannot be generalized to the larger population, the study’s results add to the current knowledge and the importance of interpersonal influences on AA women to commitment to a plan of action for PA among AA women.

Finally, it is recommended that (a) AA women are recruited as participants in intervention studies; and (b) PA programs for AA women are established in social gathering settings.

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