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Robert L. Newton, Hongmei Han, Melinda Sothern, Corby K. Martin, Larry S. Webber and Donald A. Williamson

Background:

To determine if there are differences in time spent in physical activity and sedentary behavior between rural African American and Caucasian children.

Methods:

Children wore accelerometers for 3 weekdays. The students were randomly selected from a larger sample of children participating in a weight gain prevention intervention. Usable data were obtained from 272 of the 310 students who agreed to participate. The outcome data included counts per minute (CPM), time spent in moderate to vigorous (MVPA), light (LPA), and sedentary (SED) activity. The equation and cutoff used to analyze national accelerometry data were used for the current study.

Results:

The sample had an average age of 10.4 (1.1) years and 76% were African American. Lower SES African Americans had more CPM (P = .012) and spent more time in MVPA (P = .008) compared with middle SES African American and lower SES Caucasian children. Lower SES African American children also spent fewer minutes in SED activity (P = .044) compared with middle SES African American children.

Conclusions:

These findings support recent results that also used objective activity measures. Children appeared less active and more sedentary than a national sample, warranting interventions in minority and rural populations.

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E. Missy Wright, Katie R. Griffes and Daniel R. Gould

Even though African American girls and/or girls in low-income, urban environments are specifically challenged with their sport involvement, little research has focused specifically on this population’s experience with sport. The purpose of this study was to examine various factors related to sport participation for adolescent girls (predominantly African American) living in a low-income urban environment. The study examined the barriers that might impede their sport involvement, the benefits they perceive, and the reasons why they do or do not participate. Four focus groups were conducted in Detroit, Michigan (a large urban Midwestern city). Participants were grouped by age, as well as sport participation status (current sort participants and girls who have not participated in organized sport for at least one year). Each group consisted of 4 girls. Results revealed various reasons why the participants engaged in sport, including that sport occupies their time and that it is fun, while reasons like lack of opportunities and the negative role of others were some of the reasons provided for not participating in sport. These girls face numerous barriers to sport participation, such as logistical, financial, and cosmetic. Positive psychosocial development and scholarships were noted as benefits to participation. Directions for future research and programmatic level applications are described in light of these findings.

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Emily Lees, Wendell C. Taylor, Joseph T. Hepworth, Karina Feliz, Andrea Cassells and Jonathan N. Tobin

Despite the numerous benefits of physical activity, older adults continue to be more sedentary than their younger counterparts, and sedentary behavior is more prevalent among older racial and ethnic minorities than among Whites. This study used the nominal group technique (NGT) to examine participants’ perceptions of what neighborhood environmental changes would encourage greater physical activity for older African American and Hispanic women. Participants age 50–75 years were recruited from 2 urban community health clinics. Nine NGT sessions (45 participants) were conducted. The women were asked what changes in their neighborhood environment would encourage them to become more physically active. Responses to the research question were tabulated, and qualitative analysis was used to identify themes and categories. Major categories were physical environment changes, safety, and activities/social support. Although the physical environment received the greatest number of points, concerns for personal safety cut across categories. Participants indicated the need for more facilities in which to be active.

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Sofiya Alhassan, John R. Sirard, Tirzah R. Spencer, Ann Varady and Thomas N. Robinson

Background:

The purpose of this study was to develop a data-driven approach for analyzing incomplete accelerometer data from field-base studies.

Methods:

Multiple days of accelerometer data from the Stanford Girls health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (N = 294 African American girls) were summed across each minute of each day to produce a composite weekday and weekend day. Composite method estimates of physical activity were compared with those derived from methods typically described in the literature (comparison methods).

Results:

The composite method retained 99.7% and 100% of participants in weekday and weekend-day analysis, respectively, versus 84.7% to 94.2% and 28.6% to 99.0% for the comparison methods. Average wearing times for the composite method for weekday and weekend day were 99.6% and 98.6%, respectively, 91.7% to 93.9% and 82.3% to 95.4% for the comparison methods. Composite-method physical activity estimates were similar to comparison-methods estimates.

Conclusion:

The composite method used more available accelerometer data than standard approaches, reducing the need to exclude periods within a day, entire days, and participants from analysis.

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Michelle C. Kegler, Deanne W. Swan, Iris Alcantara, Louise Wrensford and Karen Glanz

Background:

This study examines the relative contribution of social (eg, social support) and physical (eg, programs and facilities) aspects of worksite, church, and home settings to physical activity levels among adults in rural communities.

Methods:

Data are from a cross-sectional survey of 268 African American and Caucasian adults, ages 40–70, living in southwest Georgia. Separate regression models were developed for walking, moderate, vigorous, and total physical activity as measured in METs-minutes-per-week.

Results:

Social support for physical activity was modest in all 3 settings (mean scores 1.5–1.9 on a 4-point scale). Participants reported limited (<1) programs and facilities for physical activity at their worksites and churches. An interaction of physical and social aspects of the home setting was observed for vigorous and moderate physical activity and total METs. There were also interactions between gender and social support at church for vigorous activity among women, and between race and the physical environment at church for moderate physical activity. A cross-over interaction was found between home and church settings for vigorous physical activity. Social support at church was associated with walking and total METs.

Conclusions:

Homes and churches may be important behavioral settings for physical activity among adults in rural communities.

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Sheriece Sadberry and Michael Mobley

Research has shown that African American college students have a difficult time adjusting at predominately White institutions (PWIs) in comparison with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with regard to both general and race-related stressors (Neville, Heppner, Ji, & Thye, 2004; Prillerman, Myers, & Smedley, 1989; Sedlacek, 1999). For college student-athletes, the campus environment can challenge their capacity to ft in and adhere to academic and social expectations, perhaps especially for Black student-athletes (BSA). The current study therefore examined the sociocultural and mental health adjustment of 98 BSA based on their perceived social support, perceived campus racial climate, team cohesion, and life events using latent profle analysis (LPA). Results indicated three distinct profile groups: Low Social Support/Cohesion, High Minority Stress, and High Social Support/Cohesion. Profiles were predictive of adjustment concerns and campus setting (PWIs vs. HBCUs), highlighting within-group differences among BSA. Implications for interventions to facilitate and support healthy adjustment and success for BSA are discussed.

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Russell R. Pate, Marsha Dowda, Jennifer R. O’Neill and Dianne S. Ward

Background:

Physical activity levels of girls decline in adolescence, but little is known about changes in participation in specific types of physical activity. This study examined change in participation in specific activities during adolescence in girls.

Methods:

Girls (N = 398, age 13.6 ± 0.6 y at baseline, 58.5% African American) from 31 middle and 24 high schools in South Carolina completed the 3-Day Physical Activity Recall (3DPAR) in 8th, 9th, and 12th grades. Girls reported their predominant activity and its intensity level in each 30-min time block on the previous 3 d.

Results:

Vigorous physical activity declined from 45.4% in 8th grade to 34.1% in 12th grade. The probability of participating in several forms of vigorous physical activity in 12th grade was strongly associated with participation in those activities in 8th grade.

Conclusion:

Early-in-life participation in sports and other forms of vigorous physical activity are important to the maintenance of physical activity during adolescence in girls.

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Stephen F. Burns, Keith Shannon and Jeffrey Potteiger