Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans Scale

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The purpose of this study is to introduce a new instrument that determines the level of healthy lifestyle of an African American. The Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans is a 16-item Likert scale that addresses Food choices, Self-Awareness, Active Lifestyle and people that you share of “break bread” with. Through test-retest reliability correlational coefficient of .70 and content validity being determined this instrument will give participants and researcher a clearer idea of what a healthy lifestyle is for African Americans. Being healthy may be a state of mind and not actually a new on a scale. Since culture determines what that is, how does it ultimately affect us?

Literature Review

The purpose of this study is to obtain development and validity of a new instrument Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans (HLAA). There is this ideal as to what a healthy lifestyle should be. The guidelines from Health and Human Service (HHS) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put out a list of things everyone should be doing and eating in order to be healthy. Does this guideline fulfill the needs for every ethnicity? Empirical study shows that one person may not be as healthy looking as the other but their classification for healthy are different. During a person’s early years, they could fall into the same guidelines, but as they get older, things change.

According to one study, older citizens (65years old) expected to reach more than 70 million by 2030 (Aday, R. and Wallace. J. 2015). With the increase, how can we show individuals the necessity of being healthy or define what a healthy life should look like. In this study, I want to look at the construct that African Americans have as what a healthy lifestyle resembles. “African Americans are disproportionately at risk for chronic diseases related to healthy lifestyle choices” (Downes, L. et al. 2010). With this as an idea the question goes back to how is a healthy lifestyle seen in the eyes of an African American. “According to the study about Motivators and Barriers of Healthy Behavior Scale their instrument focused on what motivates and hinder or health behavior” (Downes, L. et.al 2010). Do individuals see their lifestyle as unhealthy? This is where this instrument comes in.

The construct of my study is Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans. A healthy lifestyle is not always what you eat and the amount of fitness you participant in a day. A healthy lifestyle is also your self-awareness of who you are not matter the size. In addition, the people you associate with and how you celebrate life. A person cannot calculate numbers on a weight scale and have it dictate how healthy or unhealthy your life is.

There are different reasons on why individuals chose the lifestyle they live. Some of the factors that were used health and fitness, social functions and socialization attributes. According to one articles with the older citizens health and fitness was not something they not achievable at their age, as with social functions they felt it was not able to get to any location to exercise, but once your doctor tells you of health concerns then you get motivated to do more.



Target population will be African Americans both males and females in the Houston, Texas area. Age 30-70.


In order to confirm Reliability, testing conducted through test-retest method. Conducting a test-retest will involve our participants to come and partake in a self-test and come again 15-day timeframe and retake the test. The total expected correlational coefficient will be .70.


In order to confirm Content Validity there was an open discussion with students from a HBCU school. The title, construct, operationalization of the construct, factors and items was discussed. Content validity was acknowledge by the students and shows to be sound. Individuals participating in this study that obtain scores on HLAA scale in the high scores range carry a predictive validity that they will also achieve high scores in a self-efficacy scale.


The Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans Scale is a 16-item self-reporting questionnaire. It is structured in a 5 point -Likert scale using the responses (1- Never, 2-Occasionally, 3-Sometimes, 4-Frequency, 5-Always). There are four factors that will be focused on (Factor 1) Food Choices, (Factor 2) People we share or “break bread” with, (Factor 3) Active lifestyle, and (Factor 4) Self-awareness. In when participants begin, they are to think about their day-to-day lives. Then using the Likert scale as described, they will complete the questionnaire. Four items required reverse scoring (“I am concerned about the way I look in my clothes”). In order to reverse the score you will transpose the numbers for each question that requires. For example, a negative score of 1 will be transpose to 5 (i.e. 5=1, 4=2, 3=3, 2=4, 1=5). The questions that require reverse scoring are 2, 4, 8, and 19. The scoring range of this questionnaire is ranged 19 being the lowest and 80 the highest scores received.

  • 49-95 High levels of healthy lifestyle desires
  • 39-46 High average, you are doing well, on your way to living a full and happy life.
  • 29-26 Low average, but with some small changes, you can make new habits
  • 19-26 Below average. Need to look into speaking with a lifestyle coach and make necessary changes

Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans Scale: Four Factors

Factor 1: Food Choices

Our food choices accessibility determines what we eat; also, our Socio-Economical Status makes a big difference on what we can purchase. Community that are a so called “food desert” comes into play as well. Not many people have the ability to make their own garden or even live close enough to go to a farmers market. If you do not have access to healthy foods you option are quite limited. In spite of the need to incorporate healthy foods into our diet, it comes down to what we can afford. In this instrument this factors represent examples of Food Choices 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 here is an example “I shop at farmers market”

Factor 2: People whom we share or “break bread” with

In the African American culture, family celebrates when they are together. Food is the centerpiece of that celebration. Food makes you feel good, so people use that as a way to show their love to others. In this instrument this factors represent examples of People whom we share or “break bread” with 4, 8, 13 here is an example” My family and friends enjoy gatherings where we share meals”

Factor 3: Active Lifestyle

Being active keeps your physical health and mental health in good standing. Many individuals in the African American community do not think they need this. That is it for the younger people or for other ethnicities. What has this sedentary life done for them? Compromised health and early death. Doing a little exercise every day is good for your health (ex. Walking, swimming, yoga etc.). Are we a community that is on the move or do we live a stationary life? In this instrument this factors represent examples 3, 4, 11 “My daily routine includes some sort of fitness”

Factor 4: Self-Awareness

Loving who we are as we are. The world tells us what we should look like and if we do not measure up then something is wrong. Many African Americans know who they are in their skin, but is it in a good way? Being healthy does not always mean being thin. Knowing who you are and having the strength to do something about it key. In this instrument this factors represent examples 2, 5, 13 “I am concerned about the way I look in my clothes”

Scoring the Instrument

Once participants are complete with the instrument, look through for the items that require reversing. The items that require reversing are 2, 4, 8 and 19. With the reverse items, you will use this guideline in changing the score. Reverse score will follow this design 4=1, 3=2, 2=3, 1=4. Change those items and then add up the answers. The total will correlate to the breakdown.


In the conclusion on this instrument the individual will be able to see how overall healthy they are. A person we has a well-balanced family, friends, eating and fitness level will generally achieve high scores on the self-efficacy scale. This does not mean they do not have troubles but it just shows a well-balance life.


  1. Aday, R. H., & Wallace, J. B. (2015). Development and Validation of the Healthy Aging Incentives Scale. Educational Gerontology, 41(12), 847–858. https://doi-org.pvamu.idm.oclc.org/10.1080/03601277.2015.1059137
  2. Downes, Loureen. (2008). Motivators and Barriers of a Healthy Lifestyle Scale: Development and Psychometric Characteristics. Journal of nursing measurement. 16. 3-15. 10.1891/1061-3749.16.1.3.

Cite this paper

Healthy Lifestyle of African Americans Scale. (2021, Jan 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/healthy-lifestyle-of-african-americans-scale/

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