Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair(s)

Elwin C. Nielsen


Elwin C. Nielsen


Lanny J. Nalder


The objective of this research was to investigate relationship between dissociative and associative cognitive strategies for coping with the discomfort of running and running performance.

Subjects were volunteers enrolled in two Dynamic Fitness classes which were taught during Spring Quarter, 1980, at Utah State University. Class A consisted of 36 subjects (24 male, 12 female) and Class B consisted of 28 subjects (13 male, 15 female). All pretest, posttest, and treatment procedures were conducted during the class's respective regularly scheduled meeting times.

Subjects completed a 2.75 mile, timed, pretest run and were systematically assigned to one of three groups based on pretest time: 1) Control, 2) dissociation training group, and 3) association training group. Two training sessions were conducted to provide instruction in developing and using a cognitive strategy for both dissociation and association groups. Control group subjects also met with the researcher twice, but no instructions for development and use of a cognitive strategy were given. A posttest 2.75 mile, timed run was completed and subjects completed a posttest questionnaire.

Due to differences in procedures for subject recruitment and weather conditions for the posttest run, data from Class A and B were analyzed separately.

Analysis of covariance revealed no statistically significant relationship between teaching of a cognitive strategy and running time for either class.

Posttest questionnaire information was also analyzed. For both classes, statistically significant negative correlations were found between difference for pretest/posttest timed runs and dissociation points as reported on the posttest questionnaire. Also, t-tests of independent means showed that association group subjects reported significantly higher levels of association than control group subject for both classes.

It was suggested that although training may have increased the reported use of a cognitive strategy it was not an important factor in running performance. The researcher suggested, instead, that willingness to exert oneself may have been the primary factor in determining performance in relationship to physical limitations.



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