DESIGN: Longitudinal design.SETTING: Harris County and Travis County, Texas.PARTICIPANTS: Community-dwelling African-American and Hispanic or Latina women.INTERVENTION: Three hundred ten women were randomized to a PA (n ?=? 204) or VF (n ?=? 106) intervention group. Women met in groups six times over the course of 6 months and were exposed to a group cohesion intervention to promote walking or to increase VF consumption.MEASURES: Women completed the International PA Questionnaire, National Cancer Institute VF and fat screeners, PA Group Environment Questionnaire, and 7-day accelerometer protocol at baseline and post-intervention.ANALYSES: The direct and mediated effects of the intervention on outcomes were evaluated using a mediational chain model, controlling for baseline values and covariates using path analysis.RESULTS: Women were middle aged (mean ?=? 44.4 years) and overweight or obese (mean body mass index ?=? 34.0 kg/m(2)). PA increased and fat consumption decreased for both groups, whereas VF consumption increased for women in VF group only (all p < .05). Increased task cohesion led to hypothesized increases in psychosocial factors in the PA group but not to behavioral changes.CONCLUSIONS: Group cohesion interventions may have psychological and physical health benefits for African-American and Hispanic or Latina women, but refinement of measures and intervention delivery is needed to determine whether hypothesized mediational pathways are valid.PURPOSE: To determine the effects and mediating factors of a physical activity (PA) or vegetable and fruit (VF) group cohesion intervention.
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