Date of Conferral







Matthew Fearrington


Research on behavioral weight-loss programs has guided the development of health-related, behavior-change interventions that contribute to combating overweight and obesity in the United States, and illnesses that co-occur with unhealthy weight. However, research on behavioral weight-loss programs that focus on the U.S. Hispanic population and cultural identity is largely unrepresented in the current literature. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively examine body mass index (BMI) decreases of U.S. Hispanics while observing their (a) motivation toward exercise, (b) cultural identity, (c) physical activity program type, (d) exercise frequency, and (e) demographic variables as predictors of weight-loss. Guiding this study was the self-determination theory of human motivation, which maintains that when innate psychological needs are satisfied, people exhibit enhanced levels and qualities of motivation. The research questions for this study asked if exercise programs, cultural identity, and motivation toward exercise predict BMI decreases in the U.S. Hispanic population in the 76 participants. A survey-based regression design was used to analyze the variables for this study. The outcomes of this study fail to reject the null hypothesis. However, results revealed that vertical individualism, introjected regulation, external regulation and total collectivism exhibited a significant relationship with BMI decreases. The results of this may be used in the development and improvement of evidence-based practices that relate to the enhancement of culturally specific grassroots information gathering between practitioners and clients, which can be beneficial to a disproportionately unhealthy U.S. Hispanic population, which might lead to a better quality of life.