A Sense of Connection: Examining Social Identity and Adherence to a School-Based Exercise Club

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
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  • 1 Nipissing University
  • | 2 University of Saskatchewan
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Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between social identity and adherence in the context of a school-based, 8-week structured group exercise program. Methods: Secondary students (N = 116; M age = 15.52 years) from 10 newly formed school-based exercise clubs reported social identity perceptions specific to their exercise group, which were used to predict attendance and intentions to return to the club in the future. Results: Controlling for sex and grade level, the results of hierarchical regression analysis revealed that exercise group social identity was significantly positively related to program attendance (ΔR 2 = .09, p < .01). A positive relationship was also found between exercise group social identity and intentions to return to the exercise club in the future, while also controlling for sex, grade level, and program attendance (ΔR 2 = .05, p < .05). Discussion/Conclusion: The findings suggest that stronger exercise group social identity in the form of ingroup ties is associated with greater attendance and intention to return to the school-based exercise club among secondary school students.

Bruner and McLaren are with the School of Physical and Health Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Spink is with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Bruner (markb@nipissingu.ca) is corresponding author.
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