Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Member

Dr. Mariela Fernandez, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Denise Anderson

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Kemper

Abstract

Although a comparable number of men use gyms as frequently as women, data indicates that they are less likely to participate in group exercise classes. Although researchers have examined the relationship between gender and group exercise class participation, few studies have explored the linkage in the context of college campuses, specifically how some male participants are still wanting and able to use these services. The purpose of this research project was to examine why and how college men use group exercises classes. Guided by the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the study’s research objectives examined: (1) the exercise trends among college male group exercise participants and college male non-participants; (2) the perceived constraints to group exercise classes among college male participants and non-participants; and (3) the perceived motivations to use group exercise classes among male participants. To address the research objectives, the project relied on a cross-sectional design. Qualitative data were collected by interviewing 20 male students enrolled in a large southeastern university. Of this sample, half were college men who participate in group exercise, while the other half were college men who do not participate in group exercise. Data analysis entailed identifying recurring themes in the data. Friends, social stigma, lack of time, and lack of interest were recurring themes related to perceived constraints. In contrast, consistency and goals were major themes that were found for perceived motivation. The findings within this research study can help create more inclusive spaces and programs within facilities. This can be done by planning programs with males in mind using strategic marketing and more intentional group exercise formats.

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