exercise; theory; Transtheoretical Model; Hispanic; Latino


Hispanic women in the U.S. have disproportionately high rates of obesity and health disparities related to insufficient physical activity (PA). While the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) is one of the most commonly used behavioral theories in interventions promoting PA, there is a lack of evidence to support the cultural relevance of theoretical constructs for increasing PA in Hispanic women. To learn about Hispanic women’s use and interpretation of the construct Processes of Change (POC) for increasing PA, we conducted focus groups with overweight/obese Mexican/Mexican-American females (N=13) ages 27-40 years. Major themes centered on the importance of children and family caretaking, social support, and PA to promote weight loss. Participants identified strategies they use to enact the POC for increasing PA such as retos (challenges), exercise as an alternative to eating, and clothing as a reward/reminder for PA. This study examined culture-specific factors used by Mexican-American women for becoming more physically active as they correspond to the theoretical constructs of the TTM. We showed that the POC examined in our study are culturally relevant and enacted by Mexican-American women for increasing PA, and are poised to be deployed in culturally appropriate PA promotion and weight loss interventions.