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Motor Skill Interventions to Improve Fundamental Movement Skills of Preschoolers With Developmental Delay

Megan A. Kirk and Ryan E. Rhodes

Preschoolers with developmental delay (DD) are at risk for poor fundamental movement skills (FMS), but a paucity of early FMS interventions exist. The purpose of this review was to critically appraise the existing interventions to establish direction for future trials targeting preschoolers with DD. A total of 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. Major findings were summarized based on common subtopics of overall intervention effect, locomotor skill outcomes, object-control outcomes, and gender differences. Trials ranged from 8 to 24 weeks and offered 540–1700 min of instruction. The majority of trials (n = 9) significantly improved FMS of preschoolers with DD, with a large intervention effect (η2 = 0.57–0.85). This review supports the utility of interventions to improve FMS of preschoolers with DD. Future researchers are encouraged to include more robust designs, a theoretical framework, and involvement of parents and teachers in the delivery of the intervention.

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Testing the Effectiveness of Exercise Videogame Bikes Among Families in the Home-Setting: A Pilot Study

Rachel S. Mark and Ryan E. Rhodes


Interactive stationary bikes provide positive affective experiences and physiological benefits; however, research is limited.


This study compared usage of GameBikes to traditional stationary bikes among families in the home following a 6-week randomized, controlled trial design. Parents completed questionnaires featuring constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Usage was tracked by all family members and belief elicitation with GameBike families followed the trial.


Usage across the trial was significantly different for children in favor of the GameBike group (t 36 = 2.61, P = .01, d = .85). No differences were identified for parents. Significant time effects for parents’ (F 5,48 = 5.07, P < .01; η2 = .35) and children’s (F 5,32 = 8.24, P < .01; η2 = .56) usage were found with declines across 6 weeks. Affective attitude was the only significant TPB variable between groups at both time one (t 57 = 2.53, P = .01; d = .65) and follow-up (t 52 = 2.70, P = .01; d = .74) in favor of the GameBike group. Elicited beliefs were primarily affective- and control-based.


The results provide support for use of interactive video games to augment current PA initiatives. Larger-scale trials with longer durations are warranted.

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Increasing Physical Activity in Empty Nest and Retired Populations Online: A Randomized Feasibility Study

Amy Cox and Ryan E. Rhodes

The onset of retirement and children leaving the family home may offer a “window of opportunity” for individuals to influence regular moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity; therefore, this study examines the feasibility of a moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity intervention among recently retired participants (RET) and parents (P) with children who recently left the family home. A total of 46 inactive RET and nine inactive P were randomized to a 10-week web intervention (n = RET = 25/P = 4) or waitlist control (n = RET = 21/P = 5). Intervention techniques followed the multiprocess action control framework. Enrollment (37.5% for P; 40% for RET), retention (89% for P; 83% for RET), and satisfaction were high. One hundred percent of intervention-sectioned participation increased moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity compared with 52% of controls; large effect size differences were observed for key multiprocess action control constructs. Participants were highly satisfied with the intervention; however, recruitment challenges of P support moving to a randomized controlled trial for only the RET group.

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Relationship Between Regular Walking, Physical Activity, and Health-Related Quality of Life

Rachel E. Blacklock, Ryan E. Rhodes, and Shane G. Brown


The current physical activity (PA) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) literature warrants further investigation with general population samples. The exploratory-focused purpose of this study was to compare total PA-HRQoL and walking-HRQoL relations, include a measure of general happiness, and to evaluate potential activity-HRQoL demographic moderators.


A random sample of 351 adults completed an adapted Godin Leisure Time Questionnaire, the SF-36, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale.


Partial correlations revealed small-to-moderate associations between walking/total PA and general health, vitality, and social functioning after controlling for key demographics (P < 0.05). A dependent t-test determined walking and PA as equally related to vitality and social functioning. Multiple regression revealed annual income as a moderator of the total PA/walking-social functioning relationship [F(3,315) = 9.71 and F(3,316) = 12.03, P < 0.01, respectively].


HRQoL may be considered with walking interventions and annual income. The contribution of PA to overall happiness appears to be minor.

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Do Physical Activity Beliefs Differ by Age and Gender?

Ryan E. Rhodes, Chris M. Blanchard, and Rachel E. Blacklock

Age and gender are consistently related to physical activity (PA), yet theoretical explanation for these associations is scant. The present study compared the mean values and correlations of a population sample, divided by gender and age group, with respect to theory of planned behavior beliefs (behavioral, normative, and control) and PA. Participants were a sample (N = 6,739) of adults (M age = 49.65, SD = 16.04) who completed measures of social and health demographics, theory of planned behavior beliefs, and self-reported PA. Mean analyses identi-fed greater perceived control over PA for seniors than for young and middle-aged adults (η2 > .025). Belief–behavior correlations, however, were not different across age and gender in 24 of 26 tests (q < .19). Thus, PA beliefs are invariant across age and gender with the exception of mean levels of perceived control, which are lower among younger adults than older adults. Factors such as early parenthood and career demands were considered the likely reasons for differences. Overall, the evidence suggests that adapting theoretical models for specific age groups or based on gender may not be necessary.

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Does Personality Moderate the Theory of Planned Behavior in the Exercise Domain?

Ryan E. Rhodes, Kerry S. Courneya, and Leslie A. Hayduk

This study investigated the moderating influence of the five-factor model of personality (FFM) on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) in the exercise domain. Although an analysis of all possible moderation effects was conducted, it was hypothesized that high extraversion (E) and conscientiousness (C) individuals would demonstrate significantly stronger relationships between intentions and exercise behavior than those low in E and C. Conversely, it was expected that high neuroticism (N) individuals would show a significantly weaker relationship between intention and exercise behavior than those low in N. A total of 300 undergraduate students completed measures of the FFM, TPB, and a 2-week follow-up of exercise behavior. Two-group structural equation models of the TPB were created using a median split for each personality trait. Overall, 5 significant (p < .05) moderating effects were found. Specifically, N was found to moderate the effect of subjective norm on intention. E also moderated the effects of subjective norm on intention as well as intention on behavior. C moderated the effects of affective attitude on intention and intention on behavior. Theorized influences for the presence or absence of personality moderators are discussed. The results generally support the possibility of personality being a moderator of the TPB but highlight the need for future research and replication.

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Understanding Physical Activity Motivation and Behavior Through Self-Determination and Servant Leadership Theories in a Feasibility Study

Samantha M. Gray, Joan Wharf Higgins, and Ryan E. Rhodes

Despite its well-established benefits, physical activity engagement is low in the adult population; evidence suggests that this is especially a concern for women >60 years. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the feasibility of a 6-week randomized control trial of self-determination theory-based dance and walking programs for older women. Primary outcomes were feasibility measures: recruitment, retention, and satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included self-reported physical activity, behavioral regulations, and psychological needs. Thirty-five women completed the study (M = 62.8 ± 4.8 years), representing 39% recruitment and 95% retention rate. Both programs were highly attended. Exploratory effect sizes for secondary measures were promising. Emergent themes highlighted the importance of servant leadership concepts in the group setting for motivating physical activity. Our findings provide support for expanding this trial to a full-scale study.

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The Power of Believing: Salient Belief Predictors of Exercise Behavior in Normal Weight, Overweight, and Obese Pregnant Women

Danielle Symons Downs, Courtenay A. Devlin, and Ryan E. Rhodes


Nearly 50% of U.S. women enter pregnancy as overweight or obese (OW/OB). There is a critical need to understand how to motivate OW/OB pregnant women for exercise behavior to improve their health and reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes.


To examine salient Theory of Planned Behavior belief predictors of normal weight (NW) and OW/OB pregnant women’s exercise behavior (EXB) across pregnancy.


Pregnant women (N = 357) self-reported their exercise beliefs and behavior during each pregnancy trimester. Pearson correlations were used to examine exercise beliefs-behavior associations. Stepwise regressions were used to identify trimester (TRI) 1 and TRI 2 belief predictors of TRI 2 and TRI 3 EXB, respectively, for each weight status group. Belief endorsement was examined to identify critical beliefs.


TRI 1 EXB beliefs explained 58% of the total variance (22% NW, 36% OW/OB) in TRI 2 EXB. TRI 2 EXB beliefs explained 32% of the total variance (17% NW, 15% OW/OB) in TRI 3 EXB. Individual beliefs varied by weight status and trimester. Control beliefs emerged with the lowest endorsement; making them most critical to target for exercise interventions.


Prenatal exercise interventions should be weight status specific and target salient beliefs/barriers unique to the pregnancy trimesters.

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An Examination of Dweck’s Psychological Needs Model in Relation to Exercise-Related Well-Being

Colin M. Wierts, Bruno D. Zumbo, Ryan E. Rhodes, Guy Faulkner, and Mark R. Beauchamp

This two-part study examined Dweck’s psychological needs model in relation to exercise-related well-being and particularly focused on the basic need for optimal predictability and compound needs for identity and meaning. In Part 1 (N = 559), using exploratory factor analysis, scores derived from items assessing optimal predictability (prediction of affect and instrumental utility in exercise) were empirically distinct from scores derived from items assessing competence, relatedness, and autonomy. In Part 2, participants from Part 1 (N = 403) completed measures of exercise-related well-being 4 weeks after baseline assessment. Prediction of affect was the most consistent predictor of subsequent exercise-related well-being. An implication of these findings is that optimal predictability (primarily prediction of affect) represents a unique experience that may be necessary for thriving in the context of exercise. Prediction of affect should be targeted in experimental designs to further understand its relationship with exercise-related well-being.

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Testing the Efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behavior to Explain Strength Training in Older Adults

Rachel N. Dean, Jocelyn M. Farrell, Mary Lou Kelley, M. Jane Taylor, and Ryan E. Rhodes

The purpose of this study was to use the constructs of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing older adults’ participation in strength training. Two hundred men and women age 55 years and older were purposely sampled from seniors’ centers in Ontario Canada. Participants completed a TPB questionnaire and reported their current physical activity participation. It was hypothesized that perceived behavioral control followed by attitude would be the strongest determinants of strength-training intentions and that intention would be the strongest determinant of strength-training behavior. Regression analyses revealed that subjective norm and perceived behavioral control explained 42% of the variance in intention and intention explained 40% of the variance in behavior. Gender and current strength-training participation did not significantly moderate the relationship between the TPB variables. The results suggest that interventions targeting subjective norm and perceived control might be helpful in promoting strength-training behavior among older adults.