Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Dr. Craig Hall

Abstract

Already below recommended levels, physical activity participation in female youth is known to decline throughout adolescence. Self-talk, a form of self-regulation has been demonstrated to influence behaviour in both sport and exercise settings. The purpose of the present research was to explore the exercise related self-talk of teen girls (aged 14-18) with the intent of uncovering reoccurring themes and attributes in the self-talk of both low frequency exercisers (LFEs) and high frequency exercisers (HFEs). Participants were teen girls (N=28, Mage=15.56, SDage=1.47) recruited from A. B. Lucas Secondary School in London, Ontario. Physical activity levels were measured using item 7 from the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). After participating in one of five group interviews, participants were grouped for data analysis based on their scores: LFEs indicated participating in exercise two times or less in the past seven days; while HFEs indicated participating in exercise three or more times in the past seven days. Group interviews were recorded, transcribed, divided into by participant into individual files and analyzed using a hierarchical classification system of codes and categories representing self-talk themes and attributes. Results indicated that teen girls’ self-talk is complex and multidimensional, with varying trends in self-talk content, context, and characteristics in both HFE and LFE groups. Findings provide preliminary support for a potentially interactive relationship between self-talk and exercise behaviour. Limitations and recommendations for future research were noted.


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