Putting the content in context: Environment, African American women, and physical activity
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Stressors directly or indirectly have greatly influenced women's life and how they are able to function in society. Thus, for us as researchers, it is important to understand how much they influence women's lives in order to develop appropriate ways of helping them to become physically active. “Walk the Talk: A Nursing Intervention for Black Women” was designed to assist African American women in incorporating physical activity into their lives as a means of decreasing their chances of being at risk of hypertension and heart disease. This 12-month group intervention used culture-based storytelling, interactive learning, paired walking, and group physical activity as means of enhancing problem solving skills and social support in relation to walking for cardiovascular health. The women in the study addressed the direct context as they talked with each other during the monthly sessions. Therefore my research has focused on developing a greater understanding of the larger historical context in which women were seeking to become more physically active. To get a full understanding of this context, I reviewed newspapers over a time period of two years (August 2001-March 2003) on major events. During that time period the Walk the Talk study was also taking place. I compared and contrasted events that occurred locally (Columbia Tribune, Columbia Missourian), statewide (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star), and nationally (The Clarion Ledger, New York Times, Los Angeles Times). The overall goal of this project was to determine the relationship between the larger context and what the women were talking about in the study; if the larger context affected the women in the study, and if so how much in relation to becoming more physically active. Conclusively, the results showed a significant comparison between the women and the larger context. However, the level of affectivity varied with the women.