Exploring intra-person mediators of older Mexican American women who exercise: A life history approach

Adelita G. Cantu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study concerned the stories shared by low-income, physically active older Mexican American women, living in an urban neighborhood. Their stories draw attention to the sociocultural factors that inform their decision to sustain exercise in their lives. Using a descriptive, qualitative design with a life history approach revealed a deeper, complex sociocultural profile with individual variations than would have been allowed by standard quantitative data. Participant perceptions of social, cultural, and contextual resources provided an overarching backdrop that guided their choice of exercise and its sustainability. Themes describing affinity for family/kinship relationships demonstrated by "being there," building independence, balancing cultural norms with exercise through resourcefulness, and making it safe to be active captured the sociocultural context of the participants. This data provides a more complete understanding of how perceived sociocultural context may guide the development of culturally tailored interventions that would encourage initiation and sustainability of exercise in older Mexican American women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 31 2011


  • Culture
  • Exercise
  • Mexican Americans
  • Physical activity
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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