PRESENCE AND PREDICTORS OF HEALTH PROGRAMMING IN A SAMPLE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCHES
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Churches have played a central role in African American communities for decades. In addition to religious services, African American churches have increasingly offered a variety of health programs. However, there is a dearth of empirical literature on church-initiated health programming. This study examines quantity and variety of health programs and areas addressed by a convenience sample of African American churches (N = 119), as well as church characteristics that predict these health initiatives. Churches offered a mean of 6.08 (SD = 2.15) health programs targeting 4.66 (SD = 3.63) different health topics within the previous 12 months. Various church characteristics indicating greater availability of programming resources were positively associated with the quantity and variety of health initiatives. It is recommended that practitioners partner with under-resourced churches to support their existing health activities and address gaps in health programming. Future research should seek to evaluate the effectiveness of church-initiated health programs.