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Jeffrey J. Martin, Pamela Hodges Kulinna, Nate McCaughtry, Donetta Cothran, Joe Dake and Gail Fahoome

The purpose of our study was to evaluate the ability of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict African American children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and cardiorespiratory fitness. Children (N = 548, ages 9–12) completed questionnaires assessing the TPB constructs and MVPA and then had their cardiorespiratory fitness assessed with the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) test. Commonly used Structural Equation Modeling fit indices suggested the model was an adequate representation for the relationships within the data. However, results also suggested an extended model which was examined and supported. Tests of direct paths from subjective norm and control to intention indicated that both variables were significant predictors of intention. Furthermore, the impact of attitude on intention was mediated by both subjective norm and control. Finally MVPA predicted cardiorespiratory fitness. Most of the standardized path coefficients fell in the small to moderate range, with the strongest effects evident for the predictors of intention and the smallest effect evident for the link from MVPA to cardiorespiratory fitness.

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Keith A. Shannon, Robynn M. Shannon, John N. Clore, Chris Gennings, Beverly J. Warren and Jeffrey A. Potteiger

Purpose:

To determine whether ethnicity influences postprandial lipemia after a bout of aerobic exercise.

Methods:

Randomized crossover design. Healthy White (W; n = 6) and African American (AA; n = 6) women (age, W 27.0 ± 3.3 yr, AA 21.6 ± 1.4 yr; body-mass index, W 25.0 ± 0.93 kg/m2, AA 25.8 ± 0.79 kg/m2) participated in 2 treatments (control and exercise), each conducted over 2 d. On d 1, participants rested (control) or walked at 60% of maximal oxygen uptake for 90 min (exercise) and then consumed a meal. On d 2, after a 12-hr overnight fast, participants consumed an oral fat-tolerance test (OFTT) meal of 1.7 g fat, 1.65 g carbohydrate, and 0.25 g protein per kg fat-free mass. Blood was collected premeal and at 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 hr post-OFTT and analyzed for triacylglycerol (TAG), glucose, and insulin. Areas under the curve (AUCs) were calculated for each blood variable.

Results:

A significantly lower TAG AUC was observed for AA (0.86 ± 0.24 mmol · L−1 · 6 hr−1) after exercise than for W (2.25 ± .50 mmol · L−1 · 6 hr−1). Insulin AUC was significantly higher for AA after exercise (366.2 ± 19.9 mmol · L−1 · 6 hr−1) than for the control (248.1 ± 29.2 mmol · L−1 · 6 hr−1).

Conclusions:

The data indicate that exercise performed ~13 hr before an OFTT significantly reduces postprandial lipemia in AA compared with W. It appears that AA women have an increased ability to dispose of TAG after exercise and a high-fat meal.

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Jamie Zoellner, Alicia Powers, Amanda Avis-Williams, Murugi Ndirangu, Earline Strickland and Kathy Yadrick

Background:

Limited research has been done on the compliance and acceptability of maintaining pedometer diaries for an extensive time frame in community-based interventions targeting minority populations.

Methods:

Community “coaches” led participants in a 6-month community-based walking intervention that included wearing pedometers and maintaining pedometer diaries for the study duration. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA tests were used to evaluate compliance rates for maintaining diaries and daily step counts. After the intervention, focus groups were used to explore opinions regarding pedometers. Audiotapes were transcribed and evaluated using systematic content analysis.

Results:

The 8 coaches and 75 enrolled walking participants were primarily African American (98%) women (94%). Overall, the group (N = 83) submitted 85% of all possible pedometer diaries and recorded 73% of all possible daily step counts. Walking-group members were significantly (P < .01) more compliant if their coach was also compliant. Identified benefits of wearing pedometers and maintaining diaries outnumbered the barriers. Participants were enthusiastic about wearing the pedometers and indicated that the weekly diaries provided a source of motivation.

Conclusions:

This research suggests pedometer diaries are a viable intervention tool and research method for community-based physical activity interventions targeting African Americans and highlights the need for social support to promote pedometer diary compliance.

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Jamie Zoellner, Carol Connell, Alicia Powers, Amanda Avis-Williams, Kathy Yadrick and Margaret L. Bogle

Background:

Race/ethnic-specific physical activity patterns and biological responses to physical activity is one of the most understudied, yet critical aspects related to the development and adoption of physical activity recommendations.

Methods:

In this 6-month community walking intervention targeting African Americans, participants wore a pedometer and maintained a pedometer diary for the study duration. Outcome measures included height, weight, percent body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, lipids and glucose. ANOVA, Pearson Correlations, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to examine changes in steps/day over each month of the intervention and explore associations among pedometer-determined physical activity and anthropometric/biological change scores from month 1 to 6.

Results:

The 83 participants were primarily African American (98%) women (94%). There was a significant increase in the average step/day beginning with 6665 (SD = 3,396) during month 1 and increasing to 9232 (SD = 3670) steps/day during month 6 (F = 4.5, P < .0001). Associations among step counts and anthropometric/biological change scores were not significant.

Conclusions:

While this intervention resulted in significant increases in steps/day; it exemplifies that physical activity standards may be unachievable for some vulnerable, minority communities. Methodological considerations for exploring associations between changes in pedometer-determined step counts and anthropometric/biological outcomes are emphasized through this study.

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Lynn B. Panton, Michael R. Kushnick, J. Derek Kingsley, Robert J. Moffatt, Emily M. Haymes and Tonya Toole

Background:

To evaluate physical activity with pedometers and health markers of chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.

Methods:

Thirty-five women (48 ± 8 y) wore pedometers for 2 weeks. One-way analyses of variances were used to compare age, weight, body mass indices (BMI), and health markers of chronic disease (including blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glycosylated hemoglobin, fibrinogen, C-reactive protein) between women who were classified by steps per day as sedentary (SED < 5,000; 2,941 ± 1,161 steps/d) or active (ACT ≥ 5,000; 7,181 ± 2,398 steps/d).

Results:

ACT had significantly lower BMI (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 7.2 kg/m2) and hip circumferences (ACT: 37.2 ± 5.6; SED: 44.4 ± 37.2 cm) and higher total cholesterol (ACT: 230 ± 53; SED: 191 ± 32 mg/dL) than SED. There were no differences in health markers of chronic disease between SED and ACT. Pearson product moment correlations showed significant negative correlations between steps/d and weight (r = –.42), BMI (r = –.46), and hip circumference (r = –.47).

Conclusions:

Increased levels of physical activity were associated with reduced BMI and hip circumferences but were not associated with lower health markers for chronic disease in obese, lower socioeconomic African American women.

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Matthew S. Kerner, Michael Kalinski, Anthony B. Kurrant, Eric Small, Eugene Spatz and Stacy Gropack

We assessed leisure-time Internet use (IU) and its relationship to physical fitness (PF) and leisure-time physical activity (PA) among 295 adolescent African-American girls. In addition, scales measuring variables in the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) were administered to elucidate PA data. Based on responses to the IU Questionnaire, participants were placed into either an Internet Nonuser (n = 184) or Internet User (n = 111) group. PF was assessed using body mass index (BMI) and AAHPERD Youth Fitness Tests. There were no correlations found between the fitness test scores and IU, PA, or BMI. No correlation was found between IU and PA, and similar findings were noted between PA and each variable constituting the TRA. As expected, within the TRA variables studied, significant moderate to high correlations were found between both Attitude to Exercise and Subjective Norm with Intention to Exercise, r = .43 and r = .53, respectively. The remarkably low scores among participants on the fitness tests and TRA scales suggest that IU would have no appreciable influence on the PF of this population, irrespective of IU.

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Janelle Armstrong-Brown, Eugenia Eng, Wizdom Powell Hammond, Catherine Zimmer and J. Michael Bowling

Physical inactivity is one of the factors contributing to disproportionate disease rates among older African Americans. Previous literature indicates that older African Americans are more likely to live in racially segregated neighborhoods and that racial residential segregation is associated with limited opportunities for physical activity. A cross-sectional mixed methods study was conducted guided by the concept of therapeutic landscapes. Multilevel regression analyses demonstrated that racial residential segregation was associated with more minutes of physical activity and greater odds of meeting physical activity recommendations. Qualitative interviews revealed the following physical activity related themes: aging of the neighborhood, knowing your neighbors, feeling of safety, and neighborhood racial identity. Perceptions of social cohesion enhanced participants’ physical activity, offering a plausible explanation to the higher rates of physical activity found in this population. Understanding how social cohesion operates within racially segregated neighborhoods can help to inform the design of effective interventions for this population.

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Darren D. Kelly and Marlene A. Dixon

Despite excellent performance on the field and years of academic and social attention, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I African American male student-athletes continue to struggle to have an optimal and well-rounded college experience at predominantly White institutions of higher education. In particular, the first 2 years of college represent a difficult period during which this group would benefit from new ideas to support their multiple transitions. Mentoring, and more specifically constellation mentoring, provides great promise for aiding in the transition and success of this group (Kram, 1985). Mentoring, like other organizational transition management tools, focuses on helping people navigate a transition into a new setting (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010). However, constellation mentoring can be simultaneously broad (in terms of range of needs addressed) and specifically tailored to individual needs. This study seeks to establish a framework for how mentoring may provide a valuable tool for addressing the needs of African American male student-athletes as they transition into the college sport, social, and academic atmosphere.

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April Y. Oh, Shannon N. Zenk, JoEllen Wilbur, Richard Block, Judith McDevitt and Edward Wang

Background:

Crime may be a significant barrier to physical activity for urban African American women, yet few studies have examined this relationship in intervention studies. This study examines relationships among neighborhood crime incidents, perceptions of crime and safety, and adherence in a walking intervention among urban, midlife African-American women.

Methods:

The sample includes 148 women living in the City of Chicago. Violent crimes, disorder crimes, gun violence, and crime-related safety were examined. Adherence to walking frequency was measured as the percentage of recommended walks completed.

Results:

Controlling for demographic characteristics and treatment group, multivariate regression analyses showed walking adherence was not associated with any of the crime measures or crime-related safety (R 2 = 0.130 to 0.147). The effect of enhanced treatment did not differ by levels of objective or perceived neighborhood crime or safety. Weak to moderate bivariate correlations were observed between objective crime measures and perceived disorder crime and crime-related safety (r = 0.04 to 0.25).

Conclusions:

Weak correlations between perceived and objective crime measures suggest they are measuring different aspects of the crime environment. Future studies should examine perceived and objective measures in other populations and settings and other neighborhood social factors which may moderate crime and safety effects on outcomes of physical activity interventions.

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Julian A. Reed, Andrea L. Maslow, Savannah Long and Morgan Hughey

Object:

Increased importance on academic achievement has resulted in many school districts focusing on improved academic performance leading to reductions in physical education time. The purpose was to examine the effects of 45 minutes of daily physical education on the cognitive ability, fitness performance and body composition of African American elementary and middle school youth.

Methods:

Participants completing the informed consent in grades 2nd to 8th were included in the study. A pre/posttest design was used with repeated measures analysis of variance. Experimental and control school participants were pretested on the cognitive measures (ie, Fluid Intelligence and Perceptual Speed) and FitnessgramR physical fitness test items (eg, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and muscular endurance, body composition) in September 2009 and posttested in May 2010.

Results:

Experimental elementary and middle school participants observed significantly greater improvements compared with control elementary and middle school participants on 7 of 16 fitness and body composition measures and on 8 of 26 cognitive measures. These fitness, body composition, and cognitive improvement differences were more noticeable among elementary and middle school females.

Conclusions:

Providing 45 minutes of daily physical education can perhaps increase cognitive ability while increasing fitness and decreasing the prevalence of overweight and obese youth.