Psychosocial Discomfort and Exercise Frequency: An Epidemiological Study of Adolescents

By Page, Randy M.; Tucker, Larry A. | Adolescence, Spring 1994 | Go to article overview

Psychosocial Discomfort and Exercise Frequency: An Epidemiological Study of Adolescents


Page, Randy M., Tucker, Larry A., Adolescence


A growing body of research has related exercise to indicators of psychological health and well-being (Doan & Scherman, 1987; Folkins & Sime, 1981; McTeer & Curtis, 1990; Tucker, 1987a; Tucker, in press). Exercise appears to reduce depression and anxiety, diminish distress, and may serve to enhance general psychological functioning through the improvement of self-esteem (Morgan & Goldston, 1987; Scherman, 1989; Tucker, Cole, & Friedman, 1986; Tucker, 1983a, 1983b, 1983c, 1987b). However, this research has largely been limited to the study of white adult males (Dishman, Sallis, & Ornstein, 1985). Particularly noticeable is the absence of data on psychosocial characteristics associated with exercise among adolescents (Reynolds, Killen, Bryson, Maron, Taylor, Maccoby, & Farquhar, 1990).

Despite the wealth of evidence linking exercise and physical activity in general to specific indices of emotional well-being, many aspects of psychological functioning remain unexplored. Indicators of psychosocial discomfort, namely loneliness, shyness, and hopelessness have not been studied relative to their association with exercise, particularly among adolescents (Doan & Scherman, 1987). These indicators are important for fitness professionals since they may serve as either important antecedents or consequences of exercise.

Relationships between aspects of psychosocial discomfort and exercise frequency in adolescents may be confounded by body image factors such as perceived physical attractiveness, body mass index, and satisfaction with body weight. According to Tucker (1984), physical attributes and body characteristics may generate differential subjective evaluations which result in social exchange and feedback affecting ontogeny. Moreover, physical characteristics seem to stimulate differential expectations of others depending on the degree of perceived attractiveness (Berscheid & Walster, 1972; Lerner, 1969). As a consequence of receiving relatively consistent feedback from others based on physical appearance, physically attractive individuals are likely to develop a self-image, social temperament, and style of interpersonal behavior that differ from those who are unattractive (Tucker, 1983d, 1984).

Research shows that the mesomorphic somatotype is perceived as the most attractive and desirable in our culture, while the endomorphic type is coveted least (Hamachek, 1978; Staffieri, 1967; Tucker, 1983d, 1984). Since regular exercise fosters development of the mesomorphic build, adolescents who exercise frequently may develop fewer psychosocial problems than do their inactive counterparts. Thus, studies investigating relationships between frequency of exercise and psychosocial conditions should take into account factors related to perceptions of attractiveness and body weight.

The present study was conducted to determine the extent to which adolescents who report different levels of exercise frequency vary with respect to manifestations of loneliness, shyness, and hopelessness. Due to the hypothesized potential of the confounding effects, the need for statistical control was evaluated and appropriate control procedures applied.

METHOD

Subjects

Students in grades 9-12, enrolled in health classes at 12 senior high schools in the northwestern United States, comprised the sample for this study. All students in attendance on the days the survey took place were informed of the nature of the study and invited to participate on an anonymous basis. Very few students decided not to participate (|is less than~ 1%). A total of 1,297 students (630 females and 654 males) participated. The schools were selected from several counties representing both rural and urban areas. Approximately 90% of the sample were white, and the average age was 15.3 years (SD = 2.9). Thirteen respondents did not indicate their gender.

Instruments

Subjects completed a self-administered survey form during their regularly scheduled health class. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Psychosocial Discomfort and Exercise Frequency: An Epidemiological Study of Adolescents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.