Utilizing Social Determinants of Health to Elicit Perceived Control Beliefs About Physical Activity Among African Americans

  • Rhonda Bernard
  • Marshall Cheney
  • Amanda Wilkerson
  • Ishu Karki
  • Sarah B. ManessEmail author


This qualitative study explored African Americans’ perceived behavioral control (PBC) beliefs about how social determinants of health (SDoH) impact their physical activity behavior. Thirty semi-structured interviews were conducted with African Americans aged 30–50 in Oklahoma. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed for themes by two independent coders. Economic stability themes represented beliefs that financial status facilitates physical activity, yet, employment duties impede physical activity. SES barriers to physical activity did not emerge within this relatively high SES sample. Neighborhood and built environment themes represented beliefs that accessibility facilitates physical activity, while inclement weather impedes physical activity. Although not a part of the question path, motivation emerged as a theme and represented beliefs about how motivation impacts physically active behavior in the absence of other SDoH barriers. This research can inform interventions developed to promote physical activity among African American adults in the central US.


Social determinants of health Physical activity Minority health Perceived behavioral control 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the [REDACTED] Institutional review board.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© W. Montague Cobb-NMA Health Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health and Exercise ScienceUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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