Date of Award

1-1-2009

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Robert F. Valois

Abstract

African Americans are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease. One method that demonstrates promise in reducing this disparity is conducting health intervention programs targeting adolescents to improve general health knowledge and dietary, physical activity, and substance use behaviors. One such program is Promoting Health Among Teens (PHAT) - a brief, culturally tailored intervention to increase general health knowledge and improve health behavior for African American adolescents. The effects of this program were evaluated among 1654 African American adolescents in the eastern United States. A randomized control trial design was used to determine differences in general health knowledge and health behaviors among participants in PHAT and a sexual health control group. Data were collected at baseline, three-months, six-months, and twelve months. Hierarchical linear growth curve modeling indicates that participants in PHAT had significantly greater health knowledge than controls. However, there were no growth curve differences in dietary behavior and modest differences regarding physical activity, and drug use behavior between participants in PHAT and the sexual-risk control group. Results suggest that several strategies can be executed to improve health behaviors among African American adolescents.

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