Correlates of physical activity and the theory of planned behavior between African American women who are physically active and those who are not

ABNF J. Summer 2012;23(3):51-8.


Many people have positive intention to engage in physical activity but fail to act. In general, Physical activity (PA) levels among Americans are declining. However, when compared to all other racial groups, middle aged African American women (AAW) have the lowest rate of PA participation. The lack of physical activity has dire illness consequences for AAW Despite significant efforts to increase physical activity to levels that benefit health, the need to understand successful translation of intention to engage in physical activity, attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control is warranted in order to design theoretically derived culturally tailored interventions to increase physical activity participation among middle aged AAW. Moreover, there is a paucity of studies that use theoretical underpinnings to elucidate the differences between middle aged AAW who are physically active and those who are not physically active. Therefore, the Theory of Planned Behavior's (TPB) measuring the constructs of intention, subjective norm, attitude, and perceived behavioral control was used to guide the design of this study. One-hundred-fifty-three respondents completed the socio-demographic profile, a Theory of Planned Behavior Questionnaire (TPBQ), and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The Pearson's Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient indicated the highest correlation between intention and attitude r (137) = .740, p < .001. The correlation between intention and perceived behavior control was r (137) = .546, p < .001; intention and physical activity r (137) = .439, p < .001; attitude and perceived behavior control r (137) = .487, p < .001; and attitude and physical activity r (137) = .429, p < .001 demonstrated a moderately strong positive relationship. Subjective norm and perceived behavior control demonstrate the smallest correlational significance r (137) = .264, p <.001. Multiple regression analysis revealed attitude towards physical activity, and perceived behavior control for physical activity were statistically and clinically significant predictors of physical activity among the middle-aged African American women in this study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Oklahoma
  • Psychological Theory