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Symeon P. Vlachopoulos and Maria A. Gigoudi

This article reports on the development and initial validation of the Amotivation Toward Exercise Scale (ATES), which reflects a taxonomy of older adults’ reasons to refrain from exercise. Drawing on work by Pelletier, Dion, Tuson, and Green-Demers (1999) and Legault, Green-Demers, and Pelletier (2006), these dimensions were the outcome beliefs, capacity beliefs, effort beliefs, and value amotivation beliefs toward exercise. The results supported a 4-factor correlated model that fit the data better than either a unidimensional model or a 4-factor uncorrelated model or a hierarchical model with strong internal reliability for all the subscales. Evidence also emerged for the discriminant validity of the subscale scores. Furthermore, the predictive validity of the subscale scores was supported, and satisfactory measurement invariance was demonstrated across the calibration and validation samples, supporting the generalizability of the scale’s measurement properties.

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Frederiki C. Moustaka, Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Chris Kabitsis, and Yannis Theodorakis

Background:

The present study evaluated the effectiveness of an autonomy-supportive intervention based on self-determination theory in influencing perceptions of autonomy support, basic psychological needs, behavioral regulations, subjective vitality, and exercise behavior.

Methods:

35 female exercise participants age 30 to 58 years who enrolled to an 8-week exercise program attended 24 exercise classes that were taught using either an autonomy-supportive (n = 19) or a lack of autonomy support (n = 16) instructing style.

Results:

The experimental group reported an increase in perceived autonomy support, the fulfillment of the needs for autonomy and competence, identified regulation, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality. They also reported higher attendance rates during the program and greater participation to moderate and/or mild nonstructured exercise during 5 weeks after the end of the program. The control group reported a decrease in perceived autonomy support, the needs for autonomy and competence, intrinsic motivation, and subjective vitality.

Conclusion:

The results supported tenets of self-determination theory and highlighted the motivational and psychological benefits of an autonomy-supportive exercise instructing style among middle-age women.

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Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Ermioni S. Katartzi, and Maria G. Kontou

The present study reported on the modification of the Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale (Vlachopoulos & Michailidou, 2006) to assess students’ psychological need fulfillment in elementary school, middle school, and high school compulsory physical education classes. Data were collected from 817 5th and 6th grade students, 862 middle school students and 844 high school students, boys and girls. The findings supported an a priori correlated 3-factor structure of the Basic Psychological Needs in Physical Education scale (BPN-PE) with strong internal reliability for all three school grade levels. Support was also obtained for the nomological validity of the scale responses. Further, measurement invariance emerged for BPN-PE scores across boys and girls and across students who participated or not in out-of-school sports within each school grade level as well as across all three school grade levels.

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Maria Moussouli, Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Nikolaos D. Kofotolis, Yannis Theodorakis, Paraskevi Malliou, and Eleftherios Kellis

Background:

The study examined the effects of a 4-week intensive isometric and isotonic stabilization exercise program on dimensions of health-related quality of life (HRQL) in women with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

Methods:

A total of 39 women (27–72 years old) provided data in an experimental study with a 9-month follow-up. Random allocation was undertaken for the two treatment groups out of the 3 groups: isometric stabilization (n = 13), isotonic stabilization (n = 13), and a control group (n = 13) that did not participate in any form of exercise. Health-related quality of life measures using the Short-Form 36 Health Survey were assessed before program initiation, immediately after program termination, and 4 times postintervention for a period of 9 months.

Results:

The isometric stabilization group displayed large improvements in bodily pain and vitality for women with CLBP attending a 4-week intensive isometric stabilization exercise program. The effects were retained for a period of 9 months after program termination.

Conclusions:

Isometric stabilization exercises reduce pain and enhance vitality as dimensions of HRQL among women with chronic low back pain with such effects lasting for at least 9 months.