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This study examined the effects of 1-week exercise deprivation on the mood and subjectively perceived physical symptoms of college students highly committed to exercise; it employed the experience sampling method (ESM). Male and female subjects (N=21) filled out questionnaires four random times a day in response to the tone of a pager for 35 days. Subjects who were randomly assigned to the experimental condition refrained from exercising between Days 15 and 21 of the procedure whereas those in the control group maintained their regular levels of physical activity. Results indicated that subjects in the experimental group reported more symptoms than at baseline and in comparison to the control group during and following the week of exercise withdrawal. Results are interpreted in light of Pennebaker's (1982) competing cue, selective attention, and schema hypotheses. Suggestions for the application of the ESM in exercise and sport psychology are provided.
Lise Gauvin is with the Dept. of Exercise Science at Concordia University, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, Montreal, Que. H4B 1R6. Attila Szabo is with the Dépt. d'éducation physique, Université de Montreal, C.P. 6128, Succ. "A," Montréal, Que. H3C 3J7. Request reprints from Lise Gauvin.