Paper Type

Master's Thesis


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Dr. Kathaleen C. Bloom

Second Advisor

Dr. Jan Meires


In the United States, obesity is on the rise while physical activity is declining. Educational funding cuts result in less time and resources for physical education in schools and youth are increasingly more sedentary with technological advances. Advance practice nurses have a role in promoting physical activity and health in this population.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical activity and self-esteem in females during late adolescence and the effect of perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity on this relationship. E-mail invitations to participate in an online survey were sent to female undergraduate students at a university in the Southeastern US. Physical activity, self-esteem, and perceived benefits and barriers were assessed using the 60-minute MVPA screening measure, the Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale, and the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale respectively.

A sample of 536 usable surveys was obtained. Only 22% of participants were currently meeting physical activity guidelines. Self-esteem was moderately high. The greatest barriers to exercise were time and convenience. There was no significant relationship between physical activity and self-esteem. A low, but significant negative correlation was found between self-esteem and BMI and with self-esteem and perceived barriers to exercise. Self-esteem was positively correlated with overall perception of exercise. There was a small, but significant correlation between reported physical activity and overall perception of exercise and a negative correlation with barriers to exercise.

Included in

Nursing Commons