Date of Conferral





Public Health


Kai Stewart


Among African American (AA) college women, physical activity (PA) is decreasing, with less than 20% participating in moderate-intensity cardio or aerobic exercise. Physical inactivity can lead to increased morbidity and mortality from chronic conditions. There is a need for more research on AA women’s health practices to develop interventions that can lead to sustainable behavior change among this population. More than 70% of AA college women reported using some form of social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat) daily. Social networking sites (SNS) in particular can provide health information, advice, and an open forum for individuals with health concerns to garner motivation and support to adhere to recommended lifestyle changes, such as PA and weight control. However, there is little evidence of how SNS impacts young AA college women's health status and health behaviors. This quantitative study, guided by the theory of planned behavior, investigated 64 AA college women aged 18-25 using cross-sectional surveys to determine an association between SNS and PA participation. The logistic regression results indicated a statistically significant association between vigorous ( p = 0.000, p < 0.05) and moderate ( p = 0.00, p < 0.05) PA and SNS usage levels among AA college women aged 18-25. The findings revealed an opportunity to create social change among AA women by promoting SNS as effective tools to increase PA. Additionally, public health practitioners can use these study findings to inform the design of culturally tailored interventions that include theory-driven messaging and cues to action that encourage AA college women to be more physically active and achieve better health outcomes.