Testing the Efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Explain Strength Training in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purpose of this study was to use the constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing older adults’ participation in strength training. Two hundred men and women age 55 years and older were purposely sampled from seniors’ centers in Ontario Canada. Participants completed a TPB questionnaire and reported their current physical activity participation. It was hypothesized that perceived behavioral control followed by attitude would be the strongest determinants of strength-training intentions and that intention would be the strongest determinant of strength-training behavior. Regression analyses revealed that subjective norm and perceived behavioral control explained 42% of the variance in intention and intention explained 40% of the variance in behavior. Gender and current strength-training participation did not significantly moderate the relationship between the TPB variables. The results suggest that interventions targeting subjective norm and perceived control might be helpful in promoting strength-training behavior among older adults.

Dean and Rhodes are with the School of Physical Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8W 3P1 Canada. Farrell and Taylor are with the School of Kinesiology, and Kelley, the School of Social Work, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, P7B 5E1 Canada.