Testing a Model of Physical Activity Among Mothers and Fathers of Young Children: Integrating Self-Determined Motivation, Planning, and the Theory of Planned Behavior

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Parents are at risk for inactivity; however, research into understanding parental physical activity (PA) is scarce. We integrated self-determined motivation, planning, and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to better understand parental PA. Parents (252 mothers, 206 fathers) completed a main questionnaire assessing measures underpinning these constructs and a 1-week follow-up of PA behavior to examine whether self-determined motivation indirectly influenced intention via the TPB variables (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control) and intention indirectly influenced behavior via planning. We found self-determined motivation on intention was fully mediated by the TPB variables and intention on behavior was partially mediated by the planning variables. In addition, slight differences in the model’s paths between the sexes were revealed. The results illustrate the range of important determinants of parental PA and provide support for the integrated model in explaining PA decision making as well as the importance of examining sex differences.

Kyra Hamilton and Katherine M. White are with the School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Stephen Cox is with the Faculty of Business, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.