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Maria Kosma, David Buchanan and Jan Hondzinski

Despite the exercise benefits, disparities among diverse older adults continue to exist, where African American women have the lowest percentage of any population group in meeting national recommended activity guidelines. Drawing on the philosophical tradition of phronesis (practical reasoning) introduced by Aristotle, we studied perceptions of the exercise value among 14 older African American women. Three themes included: (1) exercise goals (e.g., effort exerted), (2) exercise reasons (e.g., health benefits, enjoyment and convenience, and activity recommendation), and (3) inactivity reasons (e.g., health issues, lack of motivation, and family responsibilities/priorities). Although most women reported being active, only three participants met the Healthy People 2020 guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, while two individuals were inactive. Exercise promoters should consider the values that motivate older African American women to exercise, such as the provision of accessible, nondiscriminatory exercise facilities, and not to exercise, such as concerns about neighborhood safety, in designing programs.

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Maria Kosma, Rebecca Ellis Gardner, Bradley J. Cardinal, Jeremy J. Bauer and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

A high proportion of individuals with disabilities remain physically inactive. Therefore, this study (web-based survey) investigated the relationships between the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and physical activity among 224 adults with physical disabilities (M age = 45.4 years, SD = 10.78, females = 71%). Additionally, the most important TTM predictors of the stages of change and physical activity were examined. Standardized self-report scales of the TTM constructs and physical activity were completed. The study findings supported the theorized relationships between the TTM constructs and physical activity. The behavioral and cognitive processes of change distinguished the stages of change. These two constructs and self-efficacy mostly predicted physical activity (R 2 total = .18). The assessment methodology of the TTM constructs needs to be revisited.

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Maria Kosma, Rebecca Ellis, Bradley J. Cardinal, Jeremy J. Bauer and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

The study’s purpose was to identify the mediating role of intention and the stages of change (SOC) in physical activity (PA) over a 6-month period using two models (Theory of Planned Behavior [TPB] and TPB/SOC). Participants were 143 adults with physical disabilities (70.68% response rate; M age = 46.03). The TPB constructs, SOC (time 1), and PA (time 2) were assessed using standardized self-report questionnaires. Based on path analyses, attitude had the highest effect on intention and SOC followed by perceived behavioral control within both well-fit models. The variance in PA explained by the first (TPB) and second (TPB/SOC) models was 16% and 28% respectively. In the just identified model of TPB/SOC, the direct effect of SOC on physical activity remained strong (γsoc.pa = .45) and SOC approached full mediation through attitude. Health promotion interventions need to include both intention and behavior elements (SOC) reinforcing increased PA value and barrier elimination.

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Tao Zhang, Melinda A. Solmon, Maria Kosma, Russell L. Carson and Xiangli Gu

Using self-determination theory as a framework, the purpose of this study was to test a structural model of hypothesized relationships among perceived need support from physical education teachers (autonomy support, competence support, and relatedness support), psychological need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), intrinsic motivation, and physical activity. Participants were 286 middle school students in the southeastern U.S. They completed previously validated questionnaires assessing their perceived need support from teachers, need satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, and physical activity. The hypothesized model demonstrated a good fit with the data (RMSEA = .08; CFI = .97; NFI = .96; GFI = .96). Need satisfaction and intrinsic motivation mediated the relationship between need support and physical activity. The constructs of perceived autonomy, competence, and relatedness represent the nutriments that facilitate students’ intrinsic motivation and ultimately positively predict students’ physical activity. The findings supported the theoretical tenets of self-determination theory.