Dissertations & Theses (Open Access)

Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)


Cathy Rozmus, PhD - Chair

Second Advisor

Joan Engebretson, DrPH

Third Advisor

Zelma Mata, EdD


Background: In the United States (U.S), the percentage of diabetes and coronary artery diseases is higher among Asian Indian immigrants compared to other ethnic groups. Although research has been useful in describing patterns of physical activity among South Asian groups, very little is known about the factors influencing physical activity among Asian South Indian (ASI) immigrants. There is very limited research performed on the individual, social, cultural and environmental factors influencing physical activity among ASI immigrants.

Purpose: The study purpose was to explore the factors influencing physical activity with the following primary and secondary aims: The primary aim of this study was to examine factors that can promote or hinder physical activity initiation among ASI immigrants. The secondary aim of the study was to examine individual, social, cultural and environmental factors influencing the maintenance of physical activity among Asian South Indian adults.

Methods: This research was a qualitative descriptive content analysis study based on the Socio-ecological model. In-depth semi-structured individual interviews were conducted on 12 purposively selected ASI immigrants who met the eligibility criteria. Data collection continued until saturation with no new additional information. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Nvivo 11 pro was used for data management and analysis. The codes were categorized into subcategories and main categories based on the ecological model as individual, social and environmental factors.

Result: The factors influencing the initiation and maintenance of physical activity were divided as positively and negatively influencing factors. There were two main categories for the positively influencing factors: the individual facilitators and socio-environmental facilitators. For the negatively influencing factors, there were also two main categories: individual barriers and socio-environmental barriers.

Conclusion: The factors influencing physical activity initiation and maintenance were divided as facilitators and barriers. Further research is needed on larger samples to examine the pattern of physical activity between both genders of ASI immigrants. The result of the study may be used to plan culturally appropriate physical activity interventions for ASI immigrants.


Physical activity, Socio-ecological model, barriers, facilitators

Included in

Nursing Commons



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