Date of Award

12-17-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Gerontology Institute

First Advisor

Chivon A. Mingo

Second Advisor

Tamara A. Baker

Third Advisor

Jennifer Craft Morgan

Abstract

Aging Black adults remain disproportionately diagnosed with physical and mental health conditions. Behavioral interventions promoting healthy behaviors, such as dance therapy, can be used to manage many physical and mental health conditions successfully. Little is known about the willingness to participate in dance specifically for health benefits among this population. Using an exploratory research design, this study examined Black older adults’ preferences and perceptions about dancing in general and specifically for physical and mental health benefits. Thirty-six participants completed a semi-structured questionnaire that assessed demographics, health status, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and dance therapy intervention structure and delivery preferences. Findings indicate Black older adults express interest in engaging in dance for health benefits. Beliefs, attitudes, and intentions were positively correlated with dancing for health benefits. Therefore, designing dance therapy interventions for health benefits may be a feasible way to increase physical activity and prevent adverse health outcomes among Black older adults.

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