Enhancing Psychosocial Constructs Associated with Technology-Based Physical Activity: A Randomized Control Trial Among African-American Women
American Journal of Health Education
Background: Minority women have demonstrated higher rates of health disparities associated with lower levels of physical activity, a finding prevalent among college-aged individuals. Though these health disparities occur given a variety of factors, novel, technology-based interventions are being developed to increase physical activity, with Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) serving as a useful framework for guiding such interventions.
Purpose: This investigation sought to evaluate 2 technology-based interventions on physical activity motivation and psychosocial variables among young African American women.
Methods: Forty-nine female African American college students aged 18–24 used an UpBand accelerometer and app or a diet tracker app for 6 weeks. Posttesting occurred at the conclusion of the intervention and 2 months postintervention.
Results: Perceived family support for exercise decreased in both groups, F(2, 94) = 9.90, P < .001, partial η2 = 0.17. Following an initial decrease in exercise self-efficacy scores from pre- to posttest, an increase in exercise self-efficacy was evidenced from posttest to the 2-month follow-up for both groups, F(1, 47) = 10.90, P = .002, partial η2 = 0.188.
Discussion: Although technology-based physical activity apps include social constructs, this study did not find strong support for promoting the psychosocial variables among participants. The use of fitness-promoting technology may facilitate exercise self-efficacy in minority female college students.
Translation to Health Education Practice: Technology-based interventions may be more effective when used in conjunction with traditional physical activity promotion.
Harris, Brandonn S., Bridget Melton, Helen W. Bland, Ashleigh Carpentier, Jilian Gonzales, Kelley Catenacci.
"Enhancing Psychosocial Constructs Associated with Technology-Based Physical Activity: A Randomized Control Trial Among African-American Women."
American Journal of Health Education, 49 (8): 74-85.