Rutgers College of Nursing professor to examine Latinas' attitudes towards exercise
NEWARK, N.J. Ė A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, Karen T. D'Alonzo, has been awarded a three-year $274,104 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health to conduct two studies examining young Latinas' attitudes toward physical activity.
The first study will examine the attitudes and beliefs of young Latinas with regard to physical activity using a focus group-type methodology known as "culture circles." The second study will use this information to develop and test a pilot physical activity intervention for Latinas, according to D'Alonzo, assistant professor at the College of Nursing at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
"We will be looking at exercise patterns and physical activity for young Latinas between 18 and 35 years old," said D'Alonzo, a Somerville, N.J. resident. "These women are trying to make time for themselves. Cultural beliefs and time management issues such as family responsibilities and work often interfere with their ability to exercise and engage in self-care."
For the first study, a focus group of 24 women from Bound Brook, N.J., will identify issues concerning exercising and prioritizing family responsibilities. This information will be used to design a culturally appropriate physical activity intervention that will be tested among 80 women.
"This is a unique study because it is an example of community-based participation research," D'Alonzo said. "Women will be selected from the focus group to be trained as 'promotoras' or lay health workers. These women will then go on to assist in the implementation of the physical activity intervention and lead the exercise groups."
From its headquarters at Rutgers-Newark, Rutgers College of Nursing offers a broad range of academic programs on all three Rutgers campuses. The college offers a master's program with unique practitioner clinical specialties, and is the first to offer a doctoral (Ph.D) nursing degree in New Jersey.
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