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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53339
Doc. No:TL23293
Call number:‭3354904‬
Main Entry:Eric J. Nehl
Title & Author:Exploring ethnic specific physical activity correlates among university students using the Social Cognitive TheoryEric J. Nehl
College:Indiana University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:311
Abstract:Problem. The problem addressed by this dissertation research was to explore physical activity differences between African American and White college students. This study was a two-month prospective examination of physical activity among African American and White college students using a framework and scales based upon the Social Cognitive Theory. Two universities in the Southeastern United States were purposively selected because of the racial compositions of their student bodies. The first was a historically black private liberal arts university, and the second was a large public technical university with a more diverse student population. A two-month timeframe was selected to position the study within a single academic semester and also maximize the interval between survey administrations. Procedures. At the first data collection, 539 eligible students completed a 114-item in-class questionnaire regarding social cognitive constructs and their participation in physical activity. Two months later, 449 (83.3%) of the students completed the same questionnaire to allow for a reassessment of physical activity levels, evaluate the long-term stability of the scales, and examine the predictive power of the Social Cognitive scales between administrations. The hypotheses examined in this study related to differences between African American and White students in physical activity levels and constructs and the framework from the Social Cognitive Theory. Baron & Kenny's (1986) mediating and moderating variable framework and multivariate analyses were used to test the corresponding hypotheses. Findings. When controlling for university and gender, Whites participated in a statistically significant greater amount of moderate and total physical activity than African Americans. Self-efficacy performed well as a mediator in the prediction of physical activity through the majority of the social cognitive scales. This was especially true for Whites. Outcome expectancy acted as a less important mediator of the prediction of physical activity for White students only. Full regression models that included all preliminarily important social cognitive scales were not moderated by race. Within the full regression models, past physical activity was a consistent and strong predictor of all levels of physical activity for both African Americans and Whites. The full social cognitive models predicted approximately 30% of the variance in physical activity for White students. Although the models approached 30% for African Americans, they did not reach this recommended percentage. Conclusions. The Social Cognitive Theory performed well in predicting physical activity over a two-month period. This has implications for advancing theory, research, and public health practice. Although the only theory evaluated in this study, it is clear that the continued use of the Social Cognitive Theory is acceptable in the physical activity domain. Future studies should compete the Social Cognitive Theory with other behavior change frameworks to identify the most effective methods for achieving change in physical activity.
Subject:Health and environmental sciences; College students; Mediating; Moderating; Physical activity; Social cognitive theory; Special populations; Public health; 0573:Public health
Added Entry:M. R. Torabi
Added Entry:Indiana University