The relationship of motivation of exercise to multidimensional wellness and theroies [i.e. theories] of lifespan continuity

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Brix, Cynthia Gail
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Thesis (M.A.)
Fisher Institute for Wellness and Gerontology
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The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between individuals', age 60-plus, motivation to exercise over their lifespan and their perceived quality of life as defined by the dimensions of wellness. The research project was conducted at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The design for this research was a correlation of activity history (Q 1) as self-reported now and in the past; multivariate analysis of variance of the seven dimensions of wellness by the two exercise groups; independent groups t-test on activity history (Q1) between current group participants and those who dropped out and did not join some other group exercise program; descriptive analysis (frequencies and percents) of comprehensive list of reasons for dropping out of the Ball State University group exercise program. The subjects consisted of both current and past participants of the Ball State University Retirees Fitness Program. Selection of the subjects were based upon two criteria: 1) individuals who are currently active in the program, and 2) individuals who have withdrawn from the program. A total of 33 surveys were completed. Female subjects totaled 27 and 6 subjects were male. Additionally, out of the total 33 completed and returned surveys, eight were from past group participants and 25 were current group participants. Self-administered questionnaires were utilized for this study. The surveys included the following instruments: TestWell Wellness Assessment; AAHRERD Council on Aging and Adult Development Medical/Exercise Assessment for Older Adults; Survey for Brix Research, a self-designed questionnaire. All of the data from this research project showed insignificant results. Results suggest that there is no correlation between a person's motivation to exercise throughout the lifespan and the dimensions of wellness. However, supplemental research and longitudinal studies negate this perspective. The group of individuals surveyed was preferential in that they originated from a higher socioeconomic level. The subjects maintain a superior level of perceived self-efficacy, due in part, to a high economic, education, and environmental status. Perceived self-efficacy is directly related to motivation and the behavioral change process. Research with a more diverse population, in a randomized study, is suggested.