An analysis of psychosocial constructs of weight behaviors among college women
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This study used archival data collected from the 2005 Psychosocial Barriers to Healthy Behaviors in College Students Project at a mid size, public university in the southwestern region of the United States. A phenomenological approach was used to analyze nine focus groups for barriers, sociocultural influences, locus of control, and sources of health information, concerning healthy weight behaviors among college women 18 and 44 years of age. Six research questions were developed to complete the study purposes. Focus group data were transcribed from audio recordings, audited using video recordings, and coded. Then, the long table method was used to generate themes. Additionally, video recordings were analyzed for body dynamics. Five overarching themes were found. Additionally, results show that internal conflict and the internalization of cultural norms may play a major role in participants' ability to control healthy weight behaviors. Creating studies that seek to understand the multitude of factors that influence weight behaviors will help researchers understand and alleviate the current obesity epidemic.