This dissertation is accessible only to the Illinois State University community.

  • Off-Campus ISU Users: To download this item, click the "Off-Campus Download" button below. You will be prompted to log in with your ISU ULID and password.
  • Non-ISU Users: Contact your library to request this item through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mennonite College of Nursing

First Advisor

Kim S. Astroth


This dissertation contains three manuscripts, two will be submitted for publication, exploring the perspectives of African American women who were physically active long term. The first manuscript provides an overview of the state of the science regarding African American women and long-term physical activity. The socioecological model provided a guide to organizing findings from the review and exposing the interplay of factors influencing long-term physical activity. Conclusions taken from this review are a scarcity of literature addressing this topic, a challenge with identifying suitable frameworks to examine intersecting factors, and that further information is needed to understand how women maintain physical activity in the midst of dynamic socioecological factors affecting their lives.

The second manuscript is a report of the results of a descriptive qualitative study examining the perspectives of physically active African American women aged between 35 and 65 years and, by self-report, were physically active six months or longer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards at the time of this study. The socioecological model guided the development of interview questions and data analysis for this study. The women in this study reflect on varying levels of individual, social and environmental factors influencing their long-term physical activity. There were no implied political influences affecting long-term physical activity in this group. Understanding influencing socioecological factors may help researchers develop interventions to encourage physical activity and decrease health disparities among African American women.

The third manuscript summarizes the methodological challenges in this study examining the socioecological influences on long-term physical activity in African American women. Fourteen African American women recruited from two Midwestern United States regions participated in this study. Advertising flyers and using word of mouth were two methods to obtain a convenience sample for this study. Finding women who were physically active and the primary investigator moving to another region of the United States were two challenges affecting the number of participants in the study. The primary investigator reflected on lessons learned throughout the process of recruiting participants and performing data analysis.

KEYWORDS: African American women, physical activity or exercise, qualitative research, exercise behavior, middle-aged


Imported from ProQuest MooreHubbell_ilstu_0092E_11382.pdf


Page Count


Off-Campus Download