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Keywords:

  • African Americans;
  • Appalachia;
  • health promotion;
  • health protection

The importance of the influence of health protecting and health promoting behaviors on the health of Appalachian African Americans has not been widely published. Review of the literature revealed a paucity of research data describing these behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this descriptive study was to describe health protecting and health promoting behaviors of Appalachian African Americans. Pender's (1996) health promotion conceptual framework was used as the organizing framework for this study. Data were collected through structured interviews with 204 Appalachian African Americans representing two states and six counties in Appalachia. Quantitative research methodology was used to describe health protecting and health promoting behaviors. Data analysis revealed that these participants actively engaged in health protecting and health promoting behaviors. Morbidity data, mortality data, and family history of diseases were consistent with those reported nationally. Findings from this study support the need for a long-range research study of Appalachian African Americans.