Using qualitative data from 11 interviews with women who exercise regularly, this research explores women's motivations to exercise, how they make social comparisons and how they self-evaluate their bodies through the social context of gender, socio-economic status and race. Women with intrinsic motivations to exercise find more positive, long term outcomes than those with extrinsic motivations. Women compare themselves to similar others, such as their peers to form self-evaluations more readily than they do media images. Respondents also indicated the importance of relationships in beginning and maintaining exercise regimes.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Sociology and Corrections
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Werner, D. R. (2014). Moved to Move: Socially Contextualizing Women's Exercise Motivations [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/361/
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