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A Church-Based Intervention to Change Attitudes about Physical Activity among Black Adolescent Girls: A Feasibility Study


Correspondence to:

Wanda M. Thompson, Carrington Hall, Campus Box 7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460. E-mail:



To feasibility test a 12-week church-based physical activity intervention that was culturally sensitive, age- and gender specific directed at changing attitudes of Black adolescent girls' to be more physically active.

Design and Sample

A one-group pre- and posttest design was used. A convenience sample of Black adolescent girls between the age of 12–18 (n = 41).


A 60-min 12-week church-based program that included interactive educational sessions followed by a high energy dance aerobics class was used.


Data were collected on biophysical measures. Surveys were used to assess the following variables: attitudes, enjoyment, self-efficacy, intention, social and family support, and PA levels.


Paired t-tests and repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant changes in key variables. Positive changes were noted in the odds ratios for attitudes, self-efficacy, and intention. Body mass index, metabolic equivalent tasks, and fitness showed positive trends from pre to post intervention. Family support was significantly correlated with physical activity level (p < .01).


The study showed that physical activity programs in Black churches aimed at Black adolescent girls are feasible. Participants evaluated the intervention very favorably. Family support may be a key factor in increasing physical activity levels in Black adolescent girls.