Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Angela Bryan

Second Advisor

Heidi Day

Third Advisor

Kira Pasquesi

Abstract

Older adults make up the fastest growing portion of the United States population and they are likely to not engage in physical activity. Physical activity has multiple benefits, including better mental health and the prevention of cognitive decline. Research shows that women are more likely to live a sedentary lifestyle and to suffer from mental health issues. Due to the link between improvement of mental health and exercise and the fact that women are more likely to experience mental health problems, it was predicted that the positive effects of exercise would be more profound in older women than in men. In this study, older adults went through a 16-week long exercise program and completed measures of their mental health (the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire). These were assessed before and after the exercise intervention and ANOVA tests were run to determine whether the effects of exercise on mental health differed for women versus men. The results did not support the hypothesis, in that no gender differences were found. However, there were some overall improvements. The sample being nonclinical and its relatively small size could account for the lack of gender difference findings.

Included in

Psychology Commons

Share

COinS