Lifestyle interventions in couples and family therapy: Associations between physical exercise and family relationships

Fennell, Sammy Jo
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This study examines the relationships between physical exercise and family relationships with mental health as a mediator. Results demonstrate that the amount of weekly exercise, weighted by intensity (metabolic equivalent of task), was nonsignificant in its association to family relationship quality (family strain), such that it was mediated by measures of Depression and Anxiety (MASQ General Distress-Anxious Symptoms subscale and General Distress-Depressive Symptoms subscale) despite age as a control variable for mental health. Consistent with current literature, age demonstrated an inverse relationship with measures of mental health (symptoms of depression and anxiety), such that, as age increases, depression and anxiety decrease among certain populations (Henderson et al., 1998). Physical exercise was found to be significantly, inversely related to mental health (as physical health increases, symptoms of mental health decrease), and mental health was directly related to family strain (as mental health symptoms decrease family strain also decreases).

Counseling psychology, Therapeutic exercise, Depression, Anxiety