The purpose of the current study was to examine the mediating role of self-efficacy in the relationship between subjective age and intention to engage in physical activity (PA) among active older adults. It was expected that subjective age would be positively related to PA intention because it is positively associated with self-efficacy.
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 170 older adults age 60–80 years (M = 66.10, SD = 4.78) who completed measures of subjective age, self-efficacy, behavioral intention, self-rated health, and past PA.
Bootstrap procedure revealed that self-efficacy partially mediated the positive relationship between feeling younger than one’s age and PA intention, while chronological age, self-rated health, and past PA were controlled.
These results emphasize the need to consider both subjective and objective components of age as correlates of social-cognitive determinants of health behavior.