Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Craig Hall


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.