Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Micah McCreary


There is growing awareness of the role of physical activity (PA) in the prevention and treatment of health disorders. Mental health practitioners are well positioned to provide PA counseling and may have ethical obligations to address PA. Researchers have cited insufficient training as a barrier to PA counseling, yet little is known about training in mental health. This exploratory study examines the need for training students in PA counseling. A national sample of 361 current graduate students in psychology, social work, rehabilitation counseling, and psychiatric nursing completed a Web-based survey on their training, knowledge, attitude towards PA, personal PA, and use of PA with clients. Knowledge, training, and attitude significantly predicted use of PA in counseling. Psychiatric nursing students reported significantly higher knowledge and use of PA, 75% of students reported no training in PA counseling, and 86% of students reported need for training. Implications for training are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2011

Included in

Psychology Commons