Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Gregory L. Brack, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Jeffrey S. Ashby, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Catherine Brack, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Ken Resnicow, Ph.D.

Fifth Advisor

Roger Weed, Ph.D.


African Americans carry a disproportionate amount of the health burden for chronic disease in the United States (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). Diabetes, heart disease and cancer, to name a few, are diseases which prematurely capture the lives of African Americans. While chronic, these diseases are preventable with the advent of behavioral change. Physical activity is a primary contributor to longer life expectancy and fewer health concerns (United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). While American society, as a whole, struggles to incorporate more physical activity in their lifestyles, African Americans exhibit higher levels of physical inactivity which correlates to higher instances of preventable and chronic health problems in this subgroup of the population. Thus intervention which addresses the specific needs of this community, the mechanisms by which to prompt behavior change and the most effective means to disseminate this information is needed to affect health behavior change in this population. The African American church provides an ideal vehicle by which to diminish these health issues as existing teaching, support and resource mechanisms can be utilized. The current paper explores the relationship between increasing intrinsic motivation through employing motivational interviewing as a strategy to increase physical activity among African Americans church members.