Term of Award

Spring 2005

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 1

Barry A. Munkasy

Committee Member 2

Daniel Czech


Body image concerns that create anxiety in social settings [social physique anxiety (SPA)] has shown to influence behaviors of college women (Crawford & Eklund, 1994). There have been attempts to lower SPA among college students by utilizing physical activity or administrating an education or cognitive-behavioral intervention to decrease SPA (Bane, 1996; ODea and Abraham, 1999; Zabinski, Calfas, Gehrman, Wilfley, & Sallis, 2001.) Interventions take time and time in todays society is limited. Brief or time-limited interventions have shown to be beneficial, and ultra-brief therapy (treatments with six or fewer sessions) has shown to be beneficial to a substantial amount of clients (Shapiro, 2003). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects an exercise-only intervention (EO) and a brief education plus exercise intervention (BEE) would have on SPA among male and female college students. The hypothesis was that the BEE group would decrease SPA more than the EO group. The research question was whether there would be a significant decrease in SPA at three weeks and at six weeks. At the completion of the study there were 213 participants who had completed all three administrations of the 7-item Social Physique Anxiety Scale and who missed two or fewer physical activity classes and/or one or fewer education handouts. Participants were male (n = 60) and female (n = 153) college volunteers (ages 18-22 years) from a Effects of Exercise 2 southeastern university, currently enrolled in beginner aerobics (n = 95), aerobic cross-training (n = 4), jogging (n = 53), and health (n = 61) classes. Participants were assigned into one of the following groups: EO (n = 69), BEE (n = 83), and control (n = 61). Paired t-tests were run to observe if there was a time effect in SPA. There was not a significant difference in SPA from administration one (week zero) to week three (p = .503). There was a significant decrease in SPA from week three to week six (p = .021). A three-way ANOVA (3 X 2 X 3) with repeated measures on the last factor was utilized to observe whether there was an interaction across time among the three groups and if there was a gender interaction. The alpha level was set at .05. There was a violation in sphericity so the Greenhouse-Geisser adjustment was used. There was not a significant interaction between group, gender, and SPA (p = .162). There was an interaction between SPA and group (p = .022). The BEE group showed a significant decrease in SPA. The EO and control groups showed no significant changes in SPA. There was not a significant interaction between gender and SPA (p = .078). There was no group and gender interaction (p = .385). There was a main effect for gender (p = .001). The results from this study demonstrated that a brief educational plus exercise intervention, with duration longer than three weeks, may decrease SPA among male and female college students.