Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Byrd, Sylvia

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Understanding of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward health issues, such as physical inactivity, within certain populations are often studied to design programs and interventions specific to communities. A total of six elementary schools were chosen in the Mississippi Delta, two elementary schools within three school districts, to provide a deeper understanding of barriers to physical activity. Fortyour parents and guardians of elementary aged children participated in focus groups to discuss current physical activity levels and factors impacting and limiting local children’s physical activity levels. The most frequently reported barriers were environmental issues such as fear of children’s safety, lack of resources, and individual and social constraints such as time, parental influences, and television viewing. Concerns about safety and violence were the most frequently mentioned issues among participants. Collection through other methods of research is needed to further understand and assess the problems faced in this region.