Date of Conferral







Benita L. Stiles-Smith


This study is important because of the high prevalence of mental and physical disorders experienced by American adults. These bring undue strain to those suffering them and to the health care system because research indicates that many of these disorders may be mitigated via supportive conversation, or through the practice of physical exercise. The purpose of this quantitative treatment-control study was to examine the relationship between the practice of walking/talking and resulting mood and satisfaction levels. Self-determination theory and biopsychosocial perspectives were used to provide a framework for the study. The research questions asked whether there was a mood response difference, or a difference in the level of satisfaction, between walking/talking and sitting/talking. Research questions also asked whether correlations existed between mood and satisfaction levels and levels of psychological needs being met during exercise. Participants volunteered from rural New York communities, and they were assigned equal intervals of the 2 different activities for a total of 10 weeks. Data were collected via three scales; scores were compared via use of independent-samples t-test, simple linear regression, Pearson correlation, and analysis of variance to investigate the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Outcomes showed no significant mood response differences or satisfaction differences between the two different activities. No significant correlations were found between mood scores or session rating scores and levels of psychological needs met in exercise. Knowledge gained through this study may support individuals and practitioners incorporating lifestyle change approaches, and findings may inform further research design development on the topic.