Motivational Strategies Used by Exercise Professionals: A Latent Profile Analysis

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Using self-determination theory as a framework, the aim of this study was 2-fold: (1) identify different profiles of motivational strategies used by exercise professionals and (2) examine associations of these motivational profiles with work-related variables: measures, perceived job pressures, need satisfaction/frustration, and perceived exercisers’ motivation. Methods: Participants were 366 exercise professionals (193 males; experience = 7.7 [5.8] y) currently working in health and fitness settings. Results: Latent profile analysis identified a 3-profile model: (1) most need-supportive and least controlling (NS+; n = 225), (2) less need-supportive and slightly controlling (NS−; n = 42), and (3) most controlling and slightly need-supportive (mixed; n = 99). Professionals working less than 20 hours per week, more experienced, and female were more likely to integrate NS+, which was also associated with higher levels of work-related need satisfaction and clients’ perceived self-determination, and lower levels of job pressures and need-frustration. Conversely, NS− displayed the most maladaptive pattern of associations. Conclusions: The present findings highlight the importance of analyzing the correlates of different professional profiles, namely to help health and fitness organizations to provide high-quality motivational practices within an appropriate environment both for professionals and clients.

Sánchez-Oliva is with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain. Palmeira, Carraça, and Silva are with the CIDEFES, Lusofona University, Lisboa, Portugal. Palmeira, Carraça, Teixeira, and Silva are with the CIPER, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal. Markland is with the School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, United Kingdom. Silva is also with the Programa Nacional para a Promoção da Atividade Física, Direção-Geral da Saúde, Lisbon, Portugal.

Sánchez-Oliva (davidsanchez@unex.es) is corresponding author.

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