The social ecological model and physical activity in African American women

Am J Community Psychol. 2006 Mar;37(1-2):129-40. doi: 10.1007/s10464-005-9002-7.


Little is known about the social and contextual correlates (e.g., social norms, environment, social networks, and organizational support) influencing the adoption and maintenance of regular physical activity among minority and underserved populations. The purpose of this review was to apply the social ecological model to better understand physical activity among African American women. A review of the literature pertaining to correlates of physical activity among African American women was conducted and applied to a social ecological perspective. Understanding and addressing social and contextual correlates of physical activity behavior among African American women are necessary to establish comprehensive programs, particularly within community settings. The social ecological model provides a strong theoretical basis to guide physical activity intervention in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Community Networks*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • United States