Self-Handicapping in Structured and Unstructured Exercise: Toward a Measurable Construct

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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This article presents three studies representing the development stages of a theoretically driven measure employed to assess the frequency of use of the self-presentational strategy of self-handicapping in exercise contexts (Self-Handicapping Exercise Questionnaire: SHEQ). First a pilot study was conducted to examine the nature of the phenomenology of self-handicaps reported in exercise settings. Study 2 involved item creation, item trimming, and model confirmation. Study 3 concerned factorial validation, cross-validating the self-handicapping measure created in the second study. The outcome was a 20-item measure assessing self-handicapping claims in exercise. The results of both model-testing studies indicated three unique and stable factors addressing self-handicapping claims about making exercise a routine, training in an exercise facility, and healthy physical functioning. Self-handicapping responses were not moderated by gender, age, or exercise setting. Further use and development of the SHEQ is discussed.

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4.