Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Nutrition and Food Systems

First Advisor

Jennifer Lemacks, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Nutrition and Food Systems


According to CDC, African Americans experience higher rates of chronic diseases when compared to other ethnic groups. Focusing on religiosity and spirituality may benefit the health status of this minority group where advanced healthcare facilities are not easily assessable. The purpose of this research is to 1. Examine demographic factors related to religiosity/spirituality factors among a sample of African American Mississippians; and 2. Determine the correlation between their religiosity, spirituality, and health behaviors. The study uses the data collected by the Mississippi INBRE Telenutrition Center at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Participants for this study were recruited from May 2018-July 2019. The study variables from the survey were categorized in five different categories: demographics, social support, religiosity and spirituality, lifestyle behaviors, and quality of life. Correlation analyses examined the associations between all variables. Alpha <0.05 was used to assess statistical significance. A total of 110 African American participants completed the survey, out of which 28 were male and 82 were female. The mean age of this population group was 45.42 years. Church attendance was positively associated with religiosity/spirituality (r=0.39, p<0.001). Church attendance was significantly associated with more frequently eating breakfast during the week, controlling for age (r=0.24, p=0.04). No other significant associations were identified. The use of religiosity and spirituality to bring change in health behaviors requires further research. Health education programs in association with faith-based organizations may benefit the health status of church attendees.

Included in

Nutrition Commons