Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Fred R. Seymour


It has been recognized that there is a connection between exercise and mental well-being and studies conducted on college students and employees by Hayden and Allen, Pauley, Palmer, Wright, and Pfeiffer, and Short, DiCarlo, Steffee, and Pavolou all support a positive relationship between physical exercise and a feeling of positive self-worth. It has also been found by Conroy, Smith, and Felthous and Collingwood that physical fitness can function as a therapeutic intervention for mentally and physically debilitated clients. However, none of these studies segregated the findings according to group or individual exercise activities. The potential influence of the group setting was not addressed in the research findings, although the independent variable of parental acceptance and parental interest found in the Rosenberg and Coopersmith studies would indicate self-esteem is affected by social factors or interactions with others. Literature identifying the psychological benefits of exercise in elderly populations is limited. Goldberg and Fitzpatrick identified that movement therapy performed in group sessions promoted improved morale and attitudes among institutionalized aged. Parent and Whall found a positive relationship between elderly who participated in monthly physical activities and improved self-esteem, but no delineation of group or individual exercise activities was identified. Additional nursing research on the relationship of exercise and self-esteem in elderly populations is needed. Identifying the type and amount of exercise and the effects of group and individual exercise on the elderly’s self-esteem may lead to more well-defined nursing interventions that will be effective in promoting quality life in the older segment of the population. The objectives of this study are to: l. Identify the level of self-esteem among an elderly population living in southwestern South Dakota. 2. Identify the proportion of this elderly population who engage in exercise activities. 3. Determine the type of exercise activities this population performs. 4. Determine if elderly who exercise with others have a significantly higher self-esteem than those who exercise alone. 5. Determine if a greater amount of exercise results in a higher level of self-esteem.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants -- Analysis
Plant cells and tissues -- Analysis
Gas chromatography
Mass spectrometry



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State