Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sports Education Leadership

First Committee Member

Doris L. Watson

Second Committee Member

Monica Lounsbery

Third Committee Member

Shiri Ayvazo

Fourth Committee Member

Gita Taasoobshirazi

Number of Pages



This study examined the barriers to leisure time physical activity for African American women and their adolescent daughters. Six mother-daughter dyads were interviewed who have access to physical activity opportunity. Three of the dyads participated in a follow-up focus group. A qualitative research design that utilized a grounded theory approach identified two themes for the women and two themes for the girls. Themes for the women include influence of culture and low physical activity IQ. Sub-themes of influence of culture are (a) hair and (b) body image. Sub-themes of low physical activity IQ are (a) mommy guilt, (b) perception of time and (c) weather. Themes for the adolescent girls are stereotypes and lifestyle influences. Sub-themes of stereotypes are (a) sexuality stereotypes and (b) racial stereotype. Sub-themes of lifestyle influences are (a) social influences, (b) parental influences, and (c) school influences. Results found that a lack of physical activity history provides a huge barrier to physical activity for the women, and peer pressure is a barrier to physical activity for their daughters. Theories relevant to the findings in this study include (a) the theory of planned behavior, (b) Black feminist thought, and (c) Marcia's identity status.

This study aimed to contribute to further theory development and to inform future research of the most effective ways to increase leisure time physical activity in African American women and girls. Recommendations included culture and gender specific physical activity and nutrition interventions, physical activity role models, and future research on the role mother/daughter dynamics plays in physical activity.


African American women; Exercise; Obesity in children; Weight loss


Medicine and Health | Other Public Health | Race and Ethnicity | Sports Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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