In this study, we examined the effect of the manipulation of exercise self-efficacy on the enjoyment of physical activity in a sample of 44 Chinese adolescents (age = 14.27 ± .87 y), including 22 boys and 22 girls.
The participants were randomized into a low-efficacy or high-efficacy condition, and their self-efficacy beliefs for engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity were manipulated by providing false feedback after a submaximal exercise test. The participants’ self-efficacy was measured and compared before and after the exercise test and the participants’ enjoyment of physical activity was assessed after the exercise test.
It was found that exercise self-efficacy was successfully manipulated in the expected direction in both conditions, which significantly influenced the participants’ enjoyment of physical activity. After the exercise test, the participants in the low-efficacy condition reported lower enjoyment scores relative to the high-efficacy participants.
These results suggest that self-efficacy may have an important influence on the enjoyment of physical activity among Chinese adolescents. We recommend that physical activity promotion programs should be tailored to enhance adolescents’ self-efficacy beliefs and enjoyment of the experience of physical activity.
Hu, Cheng, Zhu, and Chen are with the College of Education, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Lu is with the School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.