Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Neil D. Kent

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Mountjoy

Third Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Seven obese males and females, ages ranging 12-15 years, served as participants in an eight-week in-home treatment program. The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of two contracting methods to influence eating and exercise patterns. Individualized exercise and nutrition programs were designed for each participant based on their health and behavior patterns at the time of the study. Four subjects were assigned to Group A (Self-Management) where contracting was established with each adolescent and based their compliance with the program. In Group B (Parental Modeling) contracting was established with the mothers of three subjects who participated along with their child and functioned as role models. Results of the study indicated success in both groups in altering both eating and exercise patterns; however, incidence of fasting and possible malnutrition were evident in both groups during baseline conditions. Contracting proved necessary to ensure that proper daily nutrition was acquired. Without contracting and monitoring, potential health hazards were evident despite educating attempts with both adolescents and parents.