We examined motivation contagion in a hypothetical exercise setting. Exercise science students (n = 164) were provided with quotes of hypothetical male and female obese exercisers displaying different quality of motivation to start an exercise program. We used a 3 (exerciser motivation) × 2 (exerciser gender) × 2 (student gender) between-subjects experimental design to examine students’ (a) motivation to instruct, (b) interpersonal style, (c) perception of barrier efficacy of the exerciser, and (d) effort to identify factors that could maximize the effectiveness of an exercise program for the exerciser. Results showed that students displayed less controlled motivation and rated the exerciser as more capable of overcoming barriers to exercise when they perceived the exerciser to be autonomously motivated. However, students, particularly females, reported more autonomy support and invested more effort toward female exercisers with controlled motivation. Our findings indicate that motivation contagion effects are plausible in exercise settings and may affect interactions between fitness instructors and obese clients.
Johan Y.Y. Ng, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, and Nikos Ntoumanis
Kimberley J. Bartholomew, Nikos Ntoumanis, and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani
This article outlines the development and initial validation of the Controlling Coach Behaviors Scale (CCBS), a multidimensional self-report measure designed to assess sports coaches’ controlling interpersonal style from the perspective of self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002). Study 1 generated a pool of items, based on past literature and feedback from coaches, athletes, and academic experts. The factorial structure of the questionnaire was tested using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses across Studies 2 and 3. The final CCBS model in Study 3 comprised 4 factors (controlling use of rewards, conditional regard, intimidation, and excessive personal control) and was cross-validated using a third independent sample in Study 4. The scale demonstrated good content and factorial validity, as well as internal consistency and invariance across gender and sport type. Suggestions for its use in research pertaining to the darker side of coaching and sport participation are discussed.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Elizabeth Loughren, Joan Duda, and Kenneth Richard Fox
A 16-week lunchtime walking intervention was designed to increase physical activity in physically inactive University employees. The program was delivered and monitored twice over 7 months to examine feasibility across different seasons.
Seventy-five participants (n = 69 females, n = 6 males; mean age = 47.68) were randomly allocated into a Winter (February start) or Spring group (May start). Participants were asked to complete 3 weekday lunchtime walks and 2 weekend walks. Weeks 1 to 10 were led by walk leaders (group phase) while the participants self-organized their walks during weeks 11 to 16 (independent phase). Yamax pedometers recorded daily step counts and walk group leaders recorded participant attendance in the group phase. Acceptability was assessed via a satisfaction survey and 2 focus groups with participants.
A participant pool representative by ethnicity, but not gender was recruited using a range of strategies. The program demonstrated good retention across both groups (73%). The intervention was acceptable to participants. More steps were accumulated in the group-led versus the independent phase.
The intervention is feasible in this workplace setting across different seasonal periods. In the future, researchers should examine if the findings can be replicated in a definitive trial and generalize to other workplace settings.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Hannah Uren, Afroditi Stathi, Catrina Wold, and Keith D. Hill
The aim of the current study was to explore perceptions of group-based walking and gather suggestions to inform the development of a group-based walking intervention among older adults in retirement villages. Twenty-four physically inactive residents (16 female, 8 male; age range: 69–88) and four managers from four retirement villages were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis revealed six broad themes: lack of motivation, values versus constraints, fears and confidence, need for structure, creating a sense of belonging, and the physical environment as a double-edged sword. Proposed intervention strategies included using trained walk leaders, using small groups, planning for flexibility, setting attainable goals, creating a routine, creating opportunities for sharing experiences, and planning a variety of walks. Group-based walking programs may be used to promote physical activity but careful planning of such programs is needed to make them appealing and feasible to a diverse group of residents.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Anthony Papathomas, Jonathan Foster, Eleanor Quested, and Nikos Ntoumanis
We explored perceptions of social dance as a possible intervention to improve cognitive function in older adults with subjective memory complaints. A total of 30 participants (19 females; mean age = 72.6 years; SD = 8.2) took part in the study. This included 21 participants who had self-reported subjective memory complaints and nine spouses who noticed spousal memory loss. Semistructured interviews were conducted, and a thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Three main themes were constructed: (a) dance seen as a means of promoting social interaction; (b) chronic illness as a barrier and facilitator to participation; and (c) social dance representing nostalgic connections to the past. Overall, the participants were positive about the potential attractiveness of social dance to improve cognitive and social functioning and other aspects of health. In future research, it is important to examine the feasibility of a social dance intervention among older adults with subjective memory complaints.
Eleanor Quested, Nikos Ntoumanis, Andreas Stenling, Cecilie Thogersen-Ntoumani, and Jennie E. Hancox
Purpose: This article outlines the development and validation of the Need-Relevant Instructor Behaviors Scale (NIBS). Drawing from self-determination theory, the NIBS is the first observation tool designed to code the frequency and the intensity of autonomy-, competence-, and relatedness-relevant behaviors of exercise instructors. The scale also captures the frequency of need-indifferent behaviors. Methods: The behaviors of 27 exercise instructors were coded by trained raters on two occasions, before and after they received training in adaptive motivational communication. Results: Findings supported the structural validity and reliability of the scale. The scale’s sensitivity to detect changes in frequency and intensity of need-relevant behaviors was also evidenced. Conclusions: The NIBS is a new tool that offers a unique, tripartite assessment of need-relevant behaviors of leaders in the physical activity domain.
Kimberley J. Bartholomew, Nikos Ntoumanis, Richard M. Ryan, and Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani
Research in self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002) has shown that satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs in sport contexts is associated with enhanced engagement, performance, and well-being. This article outlines the initial development of a multidimensional measure designed to assess psychological need thwarting, an under-studied area of conceptual and practical importance. Study 1 generated a pool of items designed to tap the negative experiential state that occurs when athletes perceive their needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness to be actively undermined. Study 2 tested the factorial structure of the questionnaire using confirmatory factor analysis. The supported model comprised 3 factors, which represented the hypothesized interrelated dimensions of need thwarting. The model was refined and cross-validated using an independent sample in Study 3. Overall, the psychological need thwarting scale (PNTS) demonstrated good content, factorial, and predictive validity, as well as internal consistency and invariance across gender, sport type, competitive level, and competitive experience. The conceptualization of psychological need thwarting is discussed, and suggestions are made regarding the use of the PNTS in research pertaining to the darker side of sport participation.
Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Nikos Ntoumanis, Jennifer Cumming, Kimberley J. Bartholomew, and Gemma Pearce
Using objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), this study tested the interaction between self-objectification, appearance evaluation, and self-esteem in predicting body satisfaction and mood states. Participants (N = 93) were physically active female university students. State self-objectification was manipulated by participants wearing tight revealing exercise attire (experimental condition) or baggy exercise clothes (control condition). Significant interactions emerged predicting depression, anger, fatness, and satisfaction with body shape and size. For participants in the self-objectification condition who had low (as opposed to high) appearance evaluation, low self-esteem was associated with high depression, anger, and fatness and low satisfaction with body shape and size. In contrast, for participants with high self-esteem, these mood and body satisfaction states were more favorable irrespective of their levels of appearance evaluation. For female exercisers, self-esteem-enhancing strategies may protect against some of the negative outcomes of self-objectification.
Marlene Kritz, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Barbara Mullan, Afroditi Stathi, and Nikos Ntoumanis
The authors examined whether purposeful walking with peers at least once a week contributes to better behavioral and health outcomes in older adults than primarily walking alone. The authors used a longitudinal cohort design and recruited participants aged 60 years and older (N = 136) at the start of a 16-week walking intervention. Participants who walked on average at least once a week in the final 8 weeks of the intervention were included in the analysis (N = 79; 66 females, M age [SD] = 77.73 [6.91]). The authors found that autonomous motivation, walking self-efficacy, functional capacity, body fat, and physical activity improved more in the walking with peers group compared with the walking alone group, after controlling for whether participants lived alone/with others and their health status. The results extend current literature by providing longitudinal evidence for the added benefits of regular peer-accompanied walking in older adults and highlight the importance of investing in peer-supported interventions.
Florence-Emilie Kinnafick, Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Sam O. Shepherd, Oliver J. Wilson, Anton J.M. Wagenmakers, and Christopher S. Shaw
Using guidance from the reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance evaluation framework, we aimed to qualitatively evaluate the participant experiences of a workplace high-intensity interval training (HIIT) intervention. Twelve previously insufficiently active individuals (four males and eight females) were interviewed once as part of three focus groups. Perceptions of program satisfaction, barriers to and facilitators of adherence, and persistence to exercise were explored. HIIT initiates interest because of its novelty, provides a sense of accomplishment, and overcomes the barriers of perceived lack of time. The feeling of relatedness between the participants can attenuate negative unpleasant responses during the HIIT sessions. HIIT, in this workplace setting, is an acceptable intervention for physically inactive adults. However, participants were reluctant to maintain the same mode of exercise, believing that HIIT sessions were for the very fit.