Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Nancy Menzel

Second Committee Member

Patricia Alpert

Third Committee Member

Alona Angosta

Fourth Committee Member

Melva Thompson-Robinson

Number of Pages



Sedentary behavior rates are higher among African-American men and women than in other American races and ethnicities, placing them at greater risk for chronic illness. Routine physical activity reduces the risk of chronic health problems such as: (a) overweight and obesity, (b) type 2 diabetes, (c) hypertension, (d) coronary artery disease, (e) stroke, (f) congestive heart failure, and (g) cancers. Assessment of African-Americans' exercise attitudes in a church-based setting may provide information with which to develop effective interventions to improve physical activity. This descriptive, cross-sectional study used components of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) to assess whether any associations exist between TTM constructs and regular exercise in African Americans. This exercise assessment included some environmental and cultural factors. Participant surveys included: (a) demographics, (b) stage of change for exercise, (c) decisional balance for exercise, (d) self-efficacy for exercise, and (e) current physical activity.

Data were collected on 200 participants ranging in age from 18 to 85 years (M = 53.17), 69% were female. The most frequent stage of change was the preparation stage (34%). Hours of total physical activity were 1.45 per week of combined vigorous activity, moderate activity, and walking. ANOVAs showed statistical significance in decisional balance across stages of change, but no statistical significance in self-efficacy by stage of change. ANOVA results conducted to determine any differences in IPAQ total by stage of change showed statistical significance, suggesting a difference in the weekly amount of exercise by stage of change.

Correlational analyses and ANOVAs showed correlations between stage of change and age, age and self-efficacy, education and stage of change, and income and self-efficacy, IPAQ and employment, and self-efficacy and IPAQ. Chi square tests showed "I don't have time" and "I am too tired" as statistically significant exercise deterrents associated with exercise stage of change. Chi square tests were also used to determine associations between exercise stage of change and exercise promoters. Both "I am in a better mood if I exercise" and "I sleep better if I exercise" showed statistically significant associations.

Health care professionals, especially nurses, are in an optimal position to assess at-risk populations and assist them to initiate and maintain routine physical activity by developing effective interventions. Traditional exercise surveys such as the decisional balance and self-efficacy surveys in the TTM may need to be revised to include psychobehavioral and environmental factors to provide a more comprehensive assessment of attitudes of African Americans toward physical activity. Tailoring interventions to individuals' stage of change and emphasizing the pros of exercise may produce more positive results.


African Americans – Health and hygiene; Church; Exercise; Physical activity; Sedentary behavior; Transtheoretical Model


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Exercise Science | Nursing

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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