Date of Scholarly Project Submission


Degree Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Faculty Chairperson

Katherine Menard

Second Committee Member

Anne Stein

Third Committee Member

Scott Drum


Physical activity (PA) has the potential to have a positive impact on mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and self-esteem. In particular, this project focused on self-esteem because low self-esteem can lead to increased risk of developing anxiety or depression. In contrast, high self-esteem can have a protective effect against anxiety and depression. Group PA programs combined with mentorship have been shown to build relationships and enhance self-esteem. The purpose of this DNP project was to determine the impact of participation in a rural midwestern, mentored cycling program on self-esteem in an at-risk adolescent population. Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) and the Youth Physical Activity Promotion Model was used as a theoretical framework. The mentored cycling program, Start the Cycle, involved weekly meetings, for 20 weeks with the end goal of completing a 28-mile bike race. The participants were taught bike maintenance and participated in indoor training and outdoor training. Data were analyzed using paired t-tests. A significant difference (p = 0.043) was found when comparing pre and post RSE scores for participants who were participating in the group for the first time. Additionally, self-esteem scores at the beginning of the program were higher in returning members than in the new members (p < 0.05). These total findings support the hypothesis that participation in the cycling group may improve self-esteem in the adolescent population and overall participation in PA.