The Role of Body-Related Self-Conscious Emotions in Motivating Women’s Physical Activity

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Catherine M. Sabiston
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Jennifer Brunet
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Kent C. Kowalski
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Philip M. Wilson
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Diane E. Mack
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Peter R. E. Crocker
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The purpose of this study was to test a model where body-related self-conscious emotions of shame, guilt, and pride were associated with physical activity regulations and behavior. Adult women (N = 389; M age = 29.82, SD = 15.20 years) completed a questionnaire assessing body-related pride, shame, and guilt, motivational regulations, and leisure-time physical activity. The hypothesized measurement and structural models were deemed adequate, as was a revised model examining shame-free guilt and guilt-free shame. In the revised structural model, body-related pride was positively significantly related to identified and intrinsic regulations. Body-related shame-free guilt was significantly associated with external, introjected, and identified regulations. Body-related guilt-free shame was significantly positively related to external and introjected regulation, and negatively associated with intrinsic regulation. Identified and intrinsic regulations were significantly positively related to physical activity (R2 = .62). These findings highlight the importance of targeting and understanding the realm of body-related self-conscious emotions and the associated links to regulations and physical activity behavior.

Catherine M. Sabiston is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Jennifer Brunet is with the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Kent C. Kowalski is with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. Philip M. Wilson is with the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Diane E. Mack is with the Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada. Peter R.E. Crocker is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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