Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

Clinical-Community Psychology

First Advisor

Dawn K Wilson

Abstract

Objectives. Understanding individual and social determinants of physical activity (PA) in low-income, minority adults may guide strategies for reducing obesity-related health disparities. The present study examined the direct and interactive relationships between self-efficacy and interpersonal and neighborhood social factors (social support from peers, social norms for PA, neighborhood social interactions) in predicting moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) in African American adults. Methods. Baseline data from the Positive Action for Today's Health (PATH) trial were used (n = 434, men = 166, women = 268; 100% African American). Self-efficacy for PA, social support from peers, social norms and neighbor social interactions were assessed via self-report. Objective assessments of MVPA were obtained using accelerometers. Results. Regression analyses were used to examine the interactions between self-efficacy and peer social support, social norms, and neighborhood social interactions in predicting MVPA. Results revealed significant main effects for self-efficacy (B=3.45, p<.05), social norms for PA (B=3.66, p<.05) and neighborhood social interactions (B=6.28, p<.05) suggesting that participants who reported higher self-efficacy, higher perceptions of social norms for PA and had more positive ratings of neighborhood social interactions engaged in more MVPA. No other main effects or interaction terms were significant. Conclusions. Enhancing one's self-efficacy for PA, improving individual's perceptions of the acceptability of walking in the neighborhood and providing opportunities for increase social connectedness may positively influence MVPA among underserved populations.

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