Jamie Ausmus

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Fernhall, Bo

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


Exercise for women; Exercise for women--Psychological aspects


The purpose of this study was to investigate several possible characteristics which are used to predict adherence to exercise in a healthy female population. Specifically, the study investigated the following factors as they relate to exercise adherence: affective self-esteem (RSS), physical self-esteem (estimation of one's physical ability—EST); attitudinal commitment to physical activity (CPA), perceived importance of physical abilities (PIPAS), body weight, percent body fat, and smoking behavior. Fifty-four female subjects ranging in age from 21 to 62 years participated in an exercise program lasting 14 weeks, with three exercise sessions per week. The program was open to university faculty, staff, and members of the local community, and was conducted in accordance with established American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. Members joined on a volunteer basis and completed a series of tests, i.e., maximal graded exercise stress, percent body fat, and lower back strength and flexibility tests, prior to participation. Adherers were individuals who attended 70% of the sessions and exercised for 15 minutes or longer per session. Dropouts were individuals who did not adhere to this criterion. Discriminant analysis indicated no significant relationship between the independent variables and prediction of group membership (i.e., adherer-dropout). Multiple regression revealed that four variables—PIPAS, CPA, EST (inversely), and body weight—were significant predictors of the number of sessions attended during the 14-week program (R = .448, 2 R = 20%; jo < .02). Results indicated that these independent variables were able to predict, with reasonable statistical significance, how many sessions an individual would attend. These findings differ from prior research in that predictors of exercise adherence in males are a lower body weight, a lower percent body fat, and a positive self-motivation. In this study completed on females, only the variable of body weight indicated significance (self-motivation was not measured). However, this study indicated that the females who attended the most sessions were usually heavier than females who attended less often. Further research should focus on females in a formal exercise setting and on the factors which are related to exercise adherence. Research should also investigate alternative definitions for adherer and dropout.


Bibliography: pages [77]-88.


vi, 88 pages




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