Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. M. Michele Burnette

Second Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Tsegaye-Spates

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The effects of solitary aerobic exercise on depressive symptoms were tested on four women diagnosed with unipolar depressive disorders. A multiple baseline design was employed. The subjects individually participated in uniform one hour aerobic workouts three times a week for five to eight weeks. Heart rate measures were monitored through the utilization of the physical working capacity test with the Monark 818E Professional Ergometer. Predicted volume oxygen uptake (VO2 max) measures at post-treatment did not increase in two of the four subjects when compared to pre-treatment VO2 max measures. The mean percentage of depressed adjectives endorsed showed minimal reductions on the Depression Adjective Checklist ((DACL), Lubin, 1967) for all four subjects. This reduction in depressed adjectives endorsed occurred regardless of whether an improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness was observed. This study indicates that exercise-induced antidepressant effects are not restricted to improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness.