Date of Award:

2013

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Advisor/Chair:

Eric Reither

Abstract

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease whose prevalence within the world's population is increasing. Symptoms of this disease are fatigue, loss of coordination, numbness and tingling, paralysis, and blindness. Currently there is no cure for the disease and, with its disabling variety and severity of symptoms, it is important to look for possibilities that could help slow its progression.

Physical activity is one health behavior that promises to slow the progression of the MS among persons afflicted with this disease. Research has revealed that an exercise program improves several measures of well-being, reduces fatigue, and improves strength. While physical activity has been suggested as a management tool, those with MS demonstrate lower levels of physical activity compared to those without MS in the U.S. population. This thesis investigates what influences individuals with MS to participate in physical activity. Its purpose is to look into the possibility that demographic, social hierarchy, social support, and psycho-social/personality characteristics may help predict physical activity regimens among persons with MS. Isolating the determinants of voluntary exercise in the MS subpopulation would enable clinicians and the public health community to develop effective policies and interventions that promote physical activity.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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