Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Physical Education


Physical Education, Health and Recreation

First Advisor

Robert J. Sonstroem


Beliefs were studied in five groups of individuals representing different levels or stages of adherence to exercise. The five groups were immotives, contemplators, recruits, adheres and dropouts.

Based on Fishbein's model of behavioral intention, a survey instrument was developed. First, 23 exercise professionals were interviewed for what they had found people to believe about exercise. A 69-item belief survey was formulated from this information, and it was administered to 220 males. Additionally, a background questionnaire was administered, evaluating exercise behavior and other demographic variables.

An analysis of variance was conducted, and comparisons were made between pairs of the five groups. Most significant comparisons involved the immotive group. Time and mental health benefits distinguished almost all groups, with adherers relating most negatively to the fact that time is a problem and most positively to the mental health benefits that exercise provides. Immotives were opposite in nature. Recruits and adherers were found to think quite similarly.

A discriminant function analysis was done, and nine items were found which correctly classified subjects into the five groups with 50.73% degree of accuracy. Much of the error was with the dropout group which was consistent with the results of the analysis of variance which showed the beliefs of dropouts to be quite diversified.

The findings of the study were consistent with past research in so far as belief differences were concerned, but the results of the discriminant function analysis were unique.



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