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Black Girls Move

Black Girls Move: A Daughter/Mother Intervention to Prevent Obesity by Increasing Physical Activity and Improving Dietary Intake Among Black Adolescent Daughters

Research Team

Monique Reed, Principal Investigator, RUSH University College of Nursing
Michael Schoeny, Co-Investigator, RUSH University College of Nursing
Wrenetha Julion, Co-Investigator, Rush University College of Nursing
JoEllen Wilbur, Co-Investigator, RUSH University College of Nursing

Project Period

5/1/2022 - 4/30/2025

Funding Source

National Institutes of Health


Black female adolescents are at increased risk for obesity-related morbidity and mortality as adults compared to non-Hispanic White female adolescents. Interventions to prevent obesity in Black female adolescents that leverage the relationship of the daughter/mother dyad have received limited attention. Studies that do include mothers tend to use theoretical frameworks that do not explicitly build on this important family relationship and have not included mothers’ active participation. Additionally, these studies do not include girls over the age of 12. In response, we developed Black Girls Move, a school-based obesity prevention intervention that addresses these limitations in the extant literature. We conducted focus groups with daughter/mother dyads to identify practical, cultural, and age-appropriate strategies for improving physical activity (PA) and dietary behaviors in Black adolescent daughters (grades 9-10, ages 14-17). Black Girls Move consists of 12 weekly group sessions of daughter/mother dyads in which participants set individualized PA and dietary goals. Black Girls Move incorporates content and processes derived from asset-based anti-racist Public Health Critical Race Praxis, Family Systems Theory, and Social Cognitive Theory. Specific aims are to determine the efficacy of Black Girls Move compared to daughters-only comparison condition on change in PA and dietary intake, and the impact of Black Girls Move compared to daughters-only on theoretical mechanisms of change (racial identity, daughter/mother relationship, social cognitions) assessed by self-report measures. The design is a 12-week pre-test/post-test, randomized controlled trial. We will recruit 24 daughter/mother dyads at each of 8 schools for a total sample size of 192 daughter/mother dyads. Within school, each dyad will be randomized to either Black Girls Move or daughters-only comparison condition (12 per condition). All daughters and all mothers (Black Girls Move daughter/mother dyads and daughters-only comparison condition daughter/mother dyads) complete assessments (e.g., PA, diet, family measures) at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-months post-intervention. We recognize that there are potential validity threats associated with within school student randomization. We will collect data to assess the degree to which these potential threats are pertinent. The long-term goal of this research is to decrease disparities in obesity and associated comorbidities in Black women. The findings may inform future large scale R01 studies of BGM in Black daughter/mother dyads.