Submitted to: American Journal of Health Promotion
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/17/2002
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Minority women have been found to have disproportionately high levels of inactivity, compared to Whites. To further our understanding of these discrepancies in levels of physical activity, this study investigated the effect of ethnicity, education, and income on five correlates of physical activity (beliefs on the value of physical activity, normative modeling, perceived barriers, outcome expectations, and self-efficacy). The analyses were all co-varied by age, body mass index (BMI), and stage of physical activity. A cross-sectional sample consisting of 246 African-American and Hispanic women 40 to 70 years of age was used. Age was associated with normative beliefs and perceived barriers. Younger women indicated more normative modeling, but they perceived more barriers than older women. BMI was inversely related to beliefs on the value of physical activity indicating that obese women did not feel they should be physically active as they would not derive any benefits and a high BMI was associated with more barriers. As expected, stage of physical activity was positively associated with self-efficacy. The effect of ethnicity, education, and income co-varied by age, BMI, and stages of physical activity, showed that a three-way interaction was significant for perceived barriers. The least and most educated African-American women in the lower income category perceived more barriers to physical activity. In contrast, the patterns for the Hispanic women did not vary significantly by income and education level. Finally, a two-way interaction (i.e., education by income) was significant for normative modeling, which showed that less normative modeling was found among the least educated women who had an income higher than the median income for 1996. Our findings revealed complex interactions, which provided some insights for developing targeted interventions among minority women.
Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate differences between two ethnic minority groups on five hypothesized correlates of physical activity (beliefs about the value of physical activity, normative modeling, perceived barriers, outcome expectations, and self-efficacy). A cross-sectional sample consisting of 246 African-American and Hispanic women 40 to 70 years of age was used. Multivariate analysis of covariance including interactions with education and income was used. A three-way interaction (ethnicity by education by income) was significant for perceived barriers. In addition, a two-way interaction (education by income) was significant for normative modeling. Ethnic differences by education and income were associated with some correlates of physical activity; therefore, it is important to consider this diversity when designing physical-activity interventions for minority women.