Dieting for weight loss amongst African American female college students: An application of social cognitive theory




Hasan, Kamilah Denise

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Texas Woman s University


The purpose of this thesis was to examine the weight loss behavior of dieting amongst African American women in higher education in using the Social Cognitive Theory personal, behavioral, and environmental constructs. This research looks to fill the space in the literature about the influences that affect African American women below the age of 30 which may eventually lead to increased levels of being overweight and obese at later ages. Data analysis was limited to African American students from The American College Health Association final National College Health Assessment II. The data was then analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 19, chi square, Fisher's exact, and their respective measures of association were used to analyze the data. The results of this analysis found that several factors associated with the personal, behavioral, and mainly the social aspects of the environmental construct of SCT were statistically significant. In conclusion, SCT was an excellent theoretical perspective to study dieting for weight loss amongst African American college women. The results of this research can be utilized to create and evaluate the effectiveness of holistic health programs at higher education institutions.