The current study examined exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior during and after a strength-training intervention program with older adults. A model with cross-lagged and contemporaneous paths was tested with structural equations. Within testing occasions, higher physical resistance was related to greater beliefs in efficacy and control over exercise. At 3 months into the intervention, those who had higher physical resistance were less likely to show subsequent changes in beliefs. Those who had higher self-efficacy and control beliefs at 6 months were more likely to report that they were still exercising at 9 and 12 months after the intervention. Findings indicate that exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior are associated with one another and that beliefs developed during an intervention are important for maintenance of an exercise regimen.
Neupert is with the Dept. of Psychology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7650. Lachman is with the Dept. of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454. Whitbourne is with Boston University and the Boston VA Medical Center.