ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing



First Advisor

Donelle Barnes


THE INFLUENCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN’S VALUES AND BELIEFS ON MODERATE INTENSITY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: A QUALITATIVE STUDY Routine participation in moderate intensity physical activity (MIPA) is one of the most important low-cost activities people can do for optimal health (USDHHS, 2018). Yet, for more than four decades, MIPA participation rates for AAW have been among the lowest compared to other races, and consequently, their health has been among the poorest. AAW have higher prevalence rates for obesity, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, type II diabetes, and associated premature death. Instead of MIPA participation rates improving, they begin to decline in AAW ages 25 - 44. There is some evidence that culture, values and beliefs independently have a role in how people make decisions about being physically active. There was no recent evidence found that collective studied culture, values, beliefs, and MIPA among AAW ages 25 - 44. An ethnographic study was conducted to explore the values and beliefs (both individual and cultural) of 12 AAW ages 25 - 44 years, and how those values and beliefs shape their attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control for performing MIPA. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) was used as the theoretical framework to explore how values and beliefs influenced MIPA decisions among AAW. Data were collected during a onetime one-to-one semi-structured Zoom interview lasting no more than an hour using open-ended questions and selected photos. Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes and patterns related to the research question. Nine themes emerged from the data: “the meaning of MIPA,” “MIPA is devalued in the African American community,” “gym anxiety,” “social support,” “hairstyles and MIPA,” “body image,” “media representation,” “planning for MIPA,” and “effort is sufficient.” Exploring the values and beliefs of AAW that influence MIPA behavior contributed to a better understanding of how AAW prioritized MIPA, and revealed that AAW need culturally relevant MIPA education that includes their values and beliefs. Future research is warranted until disproportionate morbidity and mortality rates among this population are significantly reduced.


African American women, Values and beliefs, Moderate intensity physical activity, Qualitative study


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Nursing Commons