Online Program

Salient Beliefs Underlying Intention to Participate in Physical Activity Programs among African-Americans in a Midwest Community

Monday, November 2, 2015

Darleesa Doss, Ph.D., MPH, CHES, Department of Applied Health Sciences, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN
Rosenda Murillo, Ph.D., Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX
Introduction: African-Americans report lower levels of physical activity (PA) compared to non-Hispanic Whites, and report significantly lower attendance and retention rates in PA programs. However, few studies have examined factors that contribute to participation in PA programs among African-Americans. The purpose of this study was to utilize the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify beliefs underlying intention to participate in PA programs among African-American adults residing in a Midwest community.

Methods: A self-administered survey was provided to 153 African-Americans aged +18 to assess RAA global components (attitude, perceived norm, and perceived behavioral control), underlying beliefs, demographic and behavioral characteristics. Spearman’s correlation analysis was used to estimate the association between intention and the three RAA global components, and to determine which salient beliefs (behavioral, normative, and control) was related to intention to participate in PA programs.

Results: All three RAA global constructs were significantly and positively correlated with intention, but perceived behavioral control had the highest correlation (Spearman ρ =. 794, p). Correlational analyses identified control beliefs (i.e., having more time, offering free or less expensive programs, knowing about PA programs offered in the community) significantly related to intention to participate in PA programs.

Conclusion: These findings suggest the usefulness of the RAA in identifying salient beliefs underlying intention to participate in PA programs among African-Americans. To increase participation in PA programs, strategies that will address specific control beliefs should be considered, such as promoting awareness of available programs and offering free or low cost programs to community members.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the usefulness of applying a behavior change theory to aid in improving participation levels in physical activity programs. Identify key factors associated with intention to participate in physical activity programs among an at-risk population. Identify specific control beliefs influencing the decision to participate in physical activity programs among African-American adults.

Keyword(s): African American, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I have been the lead author on this research project for more than four years. I have dedicated my entire doctoral research on this specific content area (i.e., physical inactivity behaviors) with hopes of improving the health status of disadvantaged or underserved populations. I am knowledgable on all of the research that I am proposing to present.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.