Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Girardi

Abstract

There is a sparse amount of data to substantiate the relationship between the African American women’s ability to practice preventative healthcare, reduce their risk to chronic disease, and improve their quality of life. A phenomenological approach was employed in this qualitative study to examine the factors that influence African American women’s health promoting behaviors and lifestyle choices such as regular physical activity, good nutrition, routine health screenings, and other health-promoting behaviors. These factors included the women’s perceived benefits and barriers to health promoting behaviors, self-efficacy, interpersonal and situational influences. In order to gain insight into the factors associated with health promotion, two focus groups were used to examine the lived experiences of the women. Using body mass index (BMI) as a guide, the researcher was able to compare and contrast the health promoting behaviors of one group that had a BMI within the normal range verses the other group of women with a BMI in the obese range. A purposeful sample of eight African American women between the ages of 30 - 45 years were used. The women in this study experienced continuous challenges implementing and sustaining health promotion activities to benefit their overall health over a long period of time. The factors that interfered were cultural traditions, competing demands on their time, and their own desire and ability to adhere to health promoting activities. With this information, the researcher made recommendations to implement future culturally appropriate interventions and health promotion programming to promote good health and lower the risk of chronic diseases in this population.

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