Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie H. Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Michelle Lent, PhD

Second Advisor

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD ABPP

Third Advisor

Jasmine Johnson, PsyD


Lack of participation in physical activity has become an increasing public health concern in the United States. Compared to any other racial and ethnic group, Black women have the lowest prevalence of exercise. A limited amount of empirical research suggests cultural beliefs about the meaning of physical activity has a role in one’s ability to initiate and maintain a physical activity regimen. Black women face specific sociocultural factors that impact their physical activity routines. Hair care practices and maintenance has been identified as a unique barrier among Black women. This qualitative research study investigated the influence of the distinctions in cultural factors regarding knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Black women on their physical activity behaviors. Data collected for this study reflected the following themes in regard to facilitators and barriers to a physical activity routine: hairstyle influences, role of physical appearance, social network influences, feedback from healthcare professionals, early experiences with exercise, mental and emotional well-being, and physical health.