ASSESSMENT OF MOTIVES FOR EXERCISING IN MEXICAN-AMERICAN ADULTS
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot project was to refine the Exercise Motivation Questionnaire (EMQ) for Mexican-American adults by: (1) doing semi-structured interviews to explore motives for exercising, (2) exploring other social support instruments and assess relevancy of items to reversal theory constructs and Mexican-Americans, and (3) examining the relationship of acculturation to exercise motives and behavior in this population.
Methods: Participants for both phases included English speaking Mexican-American adults, 18-64 years of age, who are currently exercising or who are wanting to initiate an exercise program. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore motives for exercising. Particular emphasis was placed on exploring the construct of social support and how it relates to motives for exercising. Interview protocols were based on constructs drawn from reversal theory and informed by existing measures of social support in exercise-related domains. An appropriate indicator(s) of acculturation was selected from the existing literature. Relevance to social support and exercise behavior was a key criterion in selecting an appropriate measure (or measures). Participants were asked to describe their past and present participation in exercise as well as factors that support or inhibit exercise participation. In addition to the semi-structured interview, subjects were asked to read each of the EMQ items orally. They were encouraged to talk about what they think the item is asking and any problems they may have in its interpretation and meaning. A demographic profile was completed on each participant including information on past and current exercise behavior. Twenty interviews were completed and audio taped. To reimburse participants for their time, a $20 gift certificate from a local store was given. The measure(s) of acculturation were administered prior to beginning the semi-structured interview. Qualitative analytic techniques were used to get at the participant’s subjective experience of exercise. These data were analyzed across participants using constant comparison method to identify important themes. The rigor or trustworthiness of the data was established by testing the credibility and applicability of the results through member checking, researcher and data triangulation, and peer debriefing (Sandelowski, 1986). Themes emerging from the analysis were used to construct new items and revise old ones that reflect reversal theory constructs (examples of existing items include “I can really get into the exercise experience” and “I exercise because I have a friend/significant other to exercise with”).
Findings: The findings provided the basis for a revised EMQ more reflective of how Mexican Americans experience exercise and what motivates them to exercise.
Dissemination: Dr. Keele-Smith disseminated an abstract of her study and findings at the 2003 Nursing Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas.
Additional Funding:Dr. Keele-Smith will continue her work on the exercise behavior of Mexican American adults through a pilot research grant provided by the Southwest Center: Partners in Health Disparity Research (Grant Number: 1 P20 NR008348-01).