Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counseling and Personnel

First Advisor

Dr. Robert F. Hopkins

Second Advisor

Dr. Beverly Belson

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson


The present study investigated the effects of two differing exercise programs, aerobic training and weight training, upon the body cathexis, global self-concept, and cardiorespiratory fitness of college females. The subjects were undergraduate nonintercollegiate athletes who self-selected into four different physical education classes that served as the two experimental and one control group. The subjects in the aerobics exercise group engaged in rope jumping, aerobic dance, and jogging for 50 minutes, twice per week, for 14 weeks. The weight training experimental group utilized free weights and variable resistence strength training equipment during the 14-week, twice weekly, 50-minute sessions. The control group consisted of students enrolled in archery and golf classes that met for the same frequency and duration as the two experimental groups. All subjects were tested before and after the training programs with the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale and the Secord Jourard Body Cathexis Scale. In addition, the cardiorespiratory fitness level of the subjects in the two experimental groups was assessed with the Cooper 12-minute run.

The following hypotheses were stated: (1) both experimental groups (weight training and aerobic training) would demonstrate significant (.05) increases in global self-concept and body cathexis, (2) the control group would not demonstrate any changes on these two psychological measures, (3) only the aerobic group would demonstrate increased cardiorespiratory fitness, and (4) that significant (.05) relationship would exist between subjects' scores on the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale and the Secord Jourard Body Cathexis Scale.

The research design employed was a non-equivalent control group design with self-selected groups. The pre-test data and pre-post differences on all variables were analyzed with the t-test for mean differences. The Pearson product moment correlation was utilized to assess the self-concept/body cathexis relationship.

As hypothesized, significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness levels were found for the aerobic training group, however, no significant improvements in self-concept or body cathexis were found for any of the groups. A significant (.05) relationship was found between subjects' scores on the Secord Jourard Body Cathexis Scale and the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale. It was suggested that mere participation in physical training programs is inadequate to produce significant psychological benefits. Further research was called for before definitive conclusions about the psychological effects of differing forms of exercise can be made.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons