Brooke Bredel

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Melanie Laliker

Degree Award Date

Spring 2006


Grounded Theory methodology, College Students, Exercise Practices


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Psychiatry and Psychology | Sports Medicine | Sports Sciences


The purpose of this study was to determine the motivations behind exercising as a female college student. The research suggests that pressure to look like examples found in the media would be the biggest motivational factor. Grounded theory methodology was used to develop themes in the five interviews with college females. All but one of the categories found were supported by previous research. It was found that the females interviewed exercise for energy, as a part of a routine, to conform to images in the media, to look feminine, and to maintain what they considered a healthy body weight. Alarmingly the participants idealized unhealthy, skinny actresses. Future studies could use males as participants or females from another culture in order to grasp the scope of exercise motivations. Health centers and health classes can apply this information in order to persuade females that what they think is healthy is really unhealthy. Also, pursuing exercising for social involvement and fun has proven to be the healthiest, most long term motivation.