Physical inactivity is a major public health concern in the United States and is no less of a concern among college students. According to the 2000 National College Health Assessment, as cited by Kilpatrick, Herbert, and Bartholomew (2005), only 38% of college students participate in regular vigorous activity, and only 20% participate in regular moderate activity. This study focused on how fitness assessment results affect intrinsic motivation for physical activity in college students. The specific mechanism examined was that between the constructs of intrinsic motivation, competence and autonomy from the self determination theory (SDT) and cognitive evaluation theory (CET). Approximately 140 undergraduate students enrolled in a personal health course participated in a fitness assessment and were periodically surveyed to measure competency, autonomy, intrinsic motivation and physical activity. Another group of 140 students from a personal health course served as a control group; in addition a group of 140 students from a general psychology course served as an additional control. The data was analyzed by ANOVA and regression with the use of SPSS. Intrinsic motivation and competence diminished significantly in the group receiving fitness assessment results as compared to either control group.


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jerry W. Lee

Second Advisor

Karen T. Lesniak

Third Advisor

Patricia Herring

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Exercise -- Health aspects; Intrinsic motivation; College students; Physical Fitness; Exercise -- physiology; Motor Activity -- analysis; Analysis of Variance.



Page Count

ix; 88

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives