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  1. Fahrenwald, Nancy L.
  2. Shangreaux, Patti


BACKGROUND: Mothers of young children who live in low-income households are a population at-risk for sedentary living that could experience important health benefits from improved physical activity behavior. Previous research among Caucasian mothers attending the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program showed that the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change was an appropriate model for designing interventions for activity promotion.


PURPOSE: This study examined the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change in relationship to the physical activity behavior of low-income American Indian mothers.


DESIGN: A descriptive-correlational study employed a purposive sample (N = 30) of six American Indian mothers at each of five stages of behavior change. Participants were recruited from a Women, Infants and Children program located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Instruments included the 7-day Activity Recall, Stages of Exercise Adoption tool, Pros and Cons to Exercise tool, Self-efficacy for Exercise scale, and the Processes of Exercise Adoption tool.


FINDINGS: Significant relationships were found between stage of change and energy expenditure indices (r = 0.69-0.74, p < .01), pros (r = 0.62, p < .01), cons (r = -0.58, p < .05), decisional balance (r = 0.59, p < .01), and self-efficacy (r = 0.60, p < .01). Pros and cons were different from a prior study of mothers attending the Women, Infants and Children program.


CONCLUSIONS: The Transtheoretical Model is relevant to American Indian mothers and should be tested in future physical activity interventions.