Title page for ETD etd-11092004-132617

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Whitehead, Dorothy
URN etd-11092004-132617
Title A Stage Targeted Physical Activity Intervention among a Predominantly African American Low Income Medical Population
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Amy Copeland Committee Member
Phillip Brantley Committee Member
William Gouvier Committee Member
  • ethnic minorities
  • physical activity
Date of Defense 2004-11-03
Availability unrestricted
Despite the numerous health benefits, there is a high prevalence of physical inactivity and associated chronic diseases in the U.S., particularly among low income African Americans. Past studies indicate that mailed, stage-matched physical activity promotion materials are effective, low cost, and show potential for reaching hard to reach groups. However, this has not been examined in a low-income African American population. The current study utilized a low-cost, mailed intervention to promote physical activity among a low income African American primary care population (N=207). The sample was predominantly female (82.6%), African American (69.1%), and overweight (81.3%). At baseline, all participants completed a demographic questionnaire, a 7-day physical activity recall (PAR), and stage of exercise scale (SOES). The participants were then randomly assigned to either the intervention (n=105) or control group (n=102). During the next week, the intervention group received individually tailored, stage-matched physical activity information and the control group received a brochure on the benefits of a low-sodium diet. Intervention group participants (M=6.39, SD=12.09) reported significantly larger increases in physical activity than the participants in the control group (M=-1.66, SD=9.63) from baseline to one month follow-up (t(142)=4.383, p<.001 Intervention participants were more likely to report stage progression through the exercise stages of change from baseline to follow-up than the control group participants (X2(1, N=207)=17.7, p<.001). These results suggest that individually tailored stage-matched mailed written materials can serve as a low-cost, minimal effort method for promoting physical activity among low-income African Americans.
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