A complete understanding of health promoting behavior patterns has not been achieved by health care professionals. The lack of understanding of health promoting behavior patterns is particularly true in relation to African American women. The lack of understanding is in part due to the limited research conducted regarding health care practices among minority populations. The purpose of this descriptive study was to describe the health promoting lifestyle behaviors of African American women in a rural setting in Mississippi. The Madeleine Leninger Cultural Care Theory was used as the theoretical framework for this study. Data were collected utilizing the Health Promotion Lifestyle Profile questionnaire. A convenience sample of African American women (N=110) was recruited in a rural health clinic located in Central Mississippi. Analyses using descriptive statistics indicate the health promoting behaviors of self actualization, interpersonal support, and stress management were engaged in most, whereas, exercise was engaged in least. The results demonstrated homogeneity in the health promoting behaviors practiced by African American women in this study. By understanding the health iii promoting lifestyle behaviors of African American women in rural settings, health care clinicians can address the health promotion and health maintenance needs of this ethnic group from a cultural perspective. Replication of the study is recommended with a larger population comparing groups on the variables of age, income, and educational level. Further studies exploring the cause and effect relationship between African American women's engagement in health promoting behaviors and subscale variables are also warranted.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Mary Patricia Curtis

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons