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  • Author: Danielle R. Brittain x
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Danielle R. Brittain and Mary K. Dinger

Adult lesbians are insufficiently active to achieve health benefits. An 8-week pilot intervention targeting coping skills to overcome barriers, was designed to increase moderate physical activity (MPA) among adult lesbians. Sixteen lesbians aged 29 to 55 years (experimental condition [EC] [n = 10]; control condition [CC] [n = 6] completed measures at baseline and end-program. Mixed repeated-measures ANOVAs used to examine between-group differences in average daily: (a) MPA, (b) task self-efficacy (TSE), and (c) self-regulatory efficacy (SRE) from baseline to end-program, were not significant. Two data trends with moderate effect sizes were identified: (1) the EC maintained 24 minutes/d of MPA (P = .10; d = .43); and (2) TSE was maintained among the EC but decreased for the CC (P = .09; d=.44). Only a small effect size was found (P = .56; d = .16) for SRE. The intervention appears to stem declines in MPA and task-related efficacy beliefs.

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Danielle R. Brittain, Nancy C. Gyurcsik and Mary McElroy

Despite the health benefits derived from regular participation in moderate physical activity, the majority of adult lesbians are not physically active. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between moderate physical activity and the perceived presence and extent of limitation of 30 general and 10 lesbian-specific barriers. The participants were 516 self-identified adult lesbians who completed a web-based survey. Compared to physically active participants, participants who were insufficiently active reported more general barriers and a significantly higher extent of limitation of general and lesbian-specific barriers overall. Insufficiently active participants also differed in the perceived presence of one of the five most frequently experienced barriers and in the extent of limitation of three of those five barriers. The study’s findings suggest that the impact of barriers may be alleviated through the use of appropriately tailored strategies to help lesbians cope with them. Future research should further examine whether lesbians experience additional population-specific barriers.