Theses Doctoral

Exploring the Relationship Between Resistance Training and Resilience in Black/African American Men With Depressive Symptoms

Louie, Mark Edward

This dissertation was a sub-study of a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded randomized clinical trial (R21 NR016112) that examined the effects of resistance training (RT; i.e., weight lifting) on depression in Black/African American (AA) men. The focus of this study was to examine resilience in that population. Resilience is one’s ability to adapt, withstand, and grow in the face of adversity and stress, and it is thought to be inversely associated with stress-related mental illness. Previous research has linked resilience with other intrapersonal factors such as physical self-concept (PSC), and mastery experiences, yet no study has examined the role exercise might play in these relationships. Purpose: To conduct the first study to examine the effects of RT on resilience and PSC, and to explore how mastery experiences might affect these variables. Methods: Twenty-nine participants in the parent study were randomized into either a 12-week RT group or time-matched control. Both groups were required to attend two on-site sessions per week (i.e., 24 total sessions), and all completed questionnaires at three time points (baseline, week 6, week 13). Changes in resilience, PSC, and mastery were analyzed using a series of linear mixed models. Results: There was a significant effect of Time (t = 2.3, p = .02) for resilience, such that the mean score significantly increased by 2.9 points from baseline to the Week 13 in the aggregated sample. There was no significant effect of Group; however, the resistance training group significantly increased their resilience from baseline to Week 13 (p < .01). There was a significant effect of Group (t = 2.5, p = .02) and Time (t= 2.4, p < .01) on PSC from baseline to Week 13. In addition, the results revealed that for every 1-unit increase in PSC from baseline to Week 13, there was a 0.1-point increase in resilience for the aggregated sample. Mastery was not related to any outcome. Conclusion: Results suggest that RT has the potential to influence both resilience and PSC. Furthermore, changes in PSC appeared to be associated with changes in resilience. Future research will be needed to better understand these associations.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biobehavioral Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Ciccolo, Joseph
Sandil, Riddih
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019