Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bischoff, Judith

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Physical Education


College students--Psychology; Exercise--Psychological aspects


The purpose of this study was to identify specific gender differences with regard to the variables related to exercise motivation and behavior in a college-age population. The theoretical model applied to investigate motivations for exercise behavior was the Personal Investment Theory (PIT). This theory postulates that an individual’s behavior is directly related to the meaning of the situation or activity to the individual. Meaning is further defined as personal incentives, sense-of-self, and perceived options and barriers. Exercise-specific measures were used to assess these three facets of the PIT. A total of 238 male and female undergraduate college students at a large midwestern university completed the questionnaires. Independent t-tests revealed that males participated in exercise for competitive and strength-related reasons more than females (p<.005). Males also perceived themselves to be higher m four of five of the physical self-perception subscales than females (p<.Ol). Females placed a greater emphasis on weight management as an incentive to exercise and had lower perceived physical self-perceptions than males (p<.Ol). The Chi Square Test of Independence revealed that there were no significant gender-dependent response associations for the nine perceived barriers (p>.006). Independent t-tests showed that males participated in more sports and weight-related activities than females (p<.Ol).


Includes bibliographical references (pages [44]-46)


81 pages




Northern Illinois University

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