Many forms of pharmacological treatments exist for a variety of illnesses. Mental disorder diagnosis such as anxiety and depression medications rise among college-aged individuals, physical exercise (PE) and self-regulatory behavior (SRB) enhancement research have improved mental health and overall health in most individuals. Much of current research has yet to investigate the influence SRB has on PE and its effects on how effectively physical exercise can combat mental health disorders. This quasi-study aimed to investigate the extent to which self-regulatory behavior mediated physical exercise's impact on college students' mental health scores. Through multiple surveys and questionnaires, such as the Burns Depression/Anxiety Inventory, Self-Regulatory Behavior Questionnaire, and exercise logs, we could track physical exercise activity and mental health statuses of thirty-two participants. A repeated-measures ANOVA showed SRB levels found no influence on the amount of time participants spent exercising per session and no influence on the number of times they exercised within the six weeks. Although, a Pearson Correlation plot showed SRB levels and anxiety scores had a significant negative correlation. Results suggest the higher a participant's SRB level, the lower their anxiety scores and vice versa. Self-regulatory behavior may not play a direct role in physical exercise tendencies. Still, we have expanded on the potential intervention of manipulating self-regulatory behavior to influence anxiety positively.


Whitehead, Aubrey




Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy


physical exercise, self-regulatory behavior, mental health, anxiety, and depression

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2021 Samuel Merga