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  • Author: Shane N. Sweet x
  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Shane N. Sweet, Michelle S. Fortier and Chris M. Blanchard


Because motivation has been deemed a key barrier to physical activity, it is imperative that we know how motivational levels change over time and how that change relates to physical activity. Based in Self-Determination Theory, this study investigated fluctuations in physical activity and motivational regulations over 25 weeks and tested the relationship between these 2 variables.


Data from the Physical Activity Counseling trial were examined. Inactive adults recruited from a primary care center (N = 120) answered motivation and physical activity questionnaires during the intervention and postintervention phases. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to test the hypotheses.


Quadratic changes were found for external regulation (γ20= 0.02, P < .05) and physical activity (γ20 = –2.64, P < .001), while identified (γ10= 0.04, P = .03) and intrinsic (γ10= 0.04, P = .01) regulations increased linearly over the course of the 25 weeks. Only identified regulation (γ30= 3.15, P = .01) and intrinsic motivation (γ30= 4.68, P < .001) were significantly and positively related with physical activity.


Physical activity, external and identified regulations and intrinsic motivation changed over the 25 weeks. Intervention should aim at fostering identified regulation and intrinsic motivation as greater levels of these regulations were related with physical activity.

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Shane N. Sweet, Lawrence R. Brawley, Alexandra Hatchell, Heather L. Gainforth and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Given the positive influence of action planning on physical activity, persuasive messages could be designed to promote action planning. The purpose of this paper was to test action planning messages in two studies. Participants were allocated to one of two message groups, reading either a physical activity only or physical activity plus action planning message (Study 1) and either a gain-framed or loss-framed action planning message (Study 2). The percent of individuals who created an action plan and the quality of the plans were evaluated. In Study 1, individuals in the physical activity plus action planning group created as many action plans as the physical activity only group, but their plans were higher quality. In Study 2, Week 2 differences between the gain- and loss-framed message groups were found for action planning. To our knowledge, these studies were the first to investigate message-induced action planning as a behavior. More research is needed to optimize these messages.

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Benjamin D. Sylvester, Martyn Standage, Tavinder K. Ark, Shane N. Sweet, Peter R.E. Crocker, Bruno D. Zumbo and Mark R. Beauchamp

In this study, we examined whether perceived variety in exercise prospectively predicts unique variance in exercise behavior when examined alongside satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs (for competence, relatedness, and autonomy) embedded within self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002), through the mediating role of autonomous and controlled motivation. A convenience sample of community adults (N = 363) completed online questionnaires twice over a 6-week period. The results of structural equation modeling showed perceived variety and satisfaction of the needs for competence and relatedness to be unique indirect positive predictors of exercise behavior (through autonomous motivation) 6 weeks later. In addition, satisfaction of the need for autonomy was found to negatively predict controlled motivation. Perceived variety in exercise complemented satisfaction of the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy in predicting motivation and (indirectly) exercise behavior, and may act as a salient mechanism in the prediction of autonomous motivation and behavior in exercise settings.