Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


First Advisor

Pamela DiNapoli


Aim: The purpose of this study was to describe the perceived ability in making health decisions regarding exercise and its congruence between young adults with disabilities and their parents. Methods: The study design used a mixed methods approach. The convenience sample consisted of (N = 10) young adults with disabilities and (N = 9) parents of young adults with disabilities. Qualitative data were gathered using a preliminary structured interview guide for young adults with disabilities consisting of several short answer questions. Quantitative data were gathered from the parents of young adults with disabilities by using Pender’s Health Promotion Questionnaire. Results: Data analysis began with simple descriptive statistics. The qualitative data, the structured interviews of the adolescents, were transcribed and evaluated for themes. The quantitative data, the parents’ questionnaires, were analyzed by aggregating data for frequencies and descriptive statistics. The qualitative data were then compared with the quantitative data to identify similarities and differences in perceptions. Conclusion: Comparison of responses among dyads provides insight about disparities that exist between what parents perceive their children with disabilities can decide about exercise and the children’s own perception about their abilities in making decisions regarding exercise.