Patients in rehabilitation settings often face difficulties in complying with physical exercise regimens. To examine social-cognitive determinants in the adoption and maintenance of exercise, a study with four points in time was launched, scrutinizing beliefs and behaviors of 509 orthopedic patients. Although exercise levels increased over time, a sizable number of patients remained inactive. Perceived self-efficacy and outcome expectancies predicted levels of intention and action plans. The latter two in turn were proximal predictors of subsequent exercise. In light of the findings, it is argued that planning helps to bridge the intention-behavior gap. Planning is an alterable variable and is therefore suitable for effective intervention.
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Sonia Lippke, Jochen P. Ziegelmann, and Ralf Schwarzer
Lisa M. Warner, Jochen P. Ziegelmann, Benjamin Schüz, Susanne Wurm, and Ralf Schwarzer
The purpose of the current study was to examine whether the effects of social support on physical exercise in older adults depend on individual perceptions of self-efficacy. Three hundred nine older German adults (age 65–85) were assessed at 3 points in time (3 months apart). In hierarchical-regression analyses, support received from friends and exercise self-efficacy were specified as predictors of exercise frequency while baseline exercise, sex, age, and physical functioning were controlled for. Besides main effects of self-efficacy and social support, an interaction between social support and self-efficacy emerged. People with low self-efficacy were less likely to be active in spite of having social support. People with low support were less likely to be active even if they were high in self-efficacy. This points to the importance of both social support and self-efficacy and implies that these resources could be targets of interventions to increase older adults’ exercise.