Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Tsegaye-Spates

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research evaluates the effects of aerobic exercise on the symptoms of schizophrenia. The positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia were repeatedly measured by using direct observation, surveys, and care giver checklists. Symptoms are subcategorized as positive and negative as suggested by Andreasen (1984). Aerobic exercise classes were taught 4 days a week for 6.5 weeks to chronically mentally ill clients in a community based day activity program. Participants were observed 1 hour and 3 hours following the aerobic session. The results demonstrated that chronic individuals exercised at an intensity sufficient to produce an aerobic training effect based on pulse rates during exercise. Mean resting heart rates decreased indicating improved physical conditioning. Other results indicated increases in the positive and decreases in the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. The increases in the positive symptoms decreased following 3 hours of the exercise session.