Date of Conferral







Amy Sickel


Low levels of exercise adherence has contributed to the increased prevalence of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes in American women. These low levels, coupled with high exercise program dropout rates, point to a need for strategies to increase exercise frequency in women who exercise, but not enough to improve their health and reduce risks. Real-time interventions, such as text messaging, could be useful in improving the cognitions that regulate adherence. Using a snowball sampling strategy, a cross-sectional sample of working women (N =130), ages 18-64, in the volitional stage of exercise behavior, completed a 60-item survey on exercise behavior. Social Cognitive Theory SCT and the Health Action Process Approach HAPA served as the guiding theories to test the first hypothesis that the mean strength of maintenance-self efficacy, action and coping planning skills, and limitation of real-life demands between women who adhered to exercise frequency recommendations and women who did not, would differ. Findings from an independent t test revealed significant differences in each of the variables of interest between adherers and nonadherers. A Pearson correlation test of the second hypothesis, which was guided by the SCT and the Technology Acceptance Model, revealed a significant positive relationship between the perceived usefulness of texting and the limitation of real-life demands reported by participants. This study highlights a need for further research into these differences so interventions can be more effectively aimed at addressing the factors that most affect an active working woman's ability to maintain adequate exercise frequency levels. Doing so could improve their quality of life, reduce mortality rates, and the societal burden of healthcare costs.