We qualitatively assessed how life stressors affected African American women's participation in a weight reduction program. A sample of 9 women, who completed a behavioral lifestyle intervention, participated in individual, structured, in-depth interviews. Life stressors, ranging from personal illness to changes in employment status, had varied effects on participation. Some women coped with life stressors by using them as a motivational tool to improve their own health, while others reported limited ability to devote time to attend meetings or engage in the prescribed lifestyle changes due to life stressors. A critical key to improving weight loss outcomes for African American women may be using intervention strategies that teach positive coping skills to alter maladaptive responses to life stressors.


African American Women, Life Stressor, Weight Loss, Coping, and Qualitative Research

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