In this study, we examined the effect of the manipulation of exercise self-efficacy on the enjoyment of physical activity in a sample of 44 Chinese adolescents (age = 14.27 ± .87 y), including 22 boys and 22 girls.
The participants were randomized into a low-efficacy or high-efficacy condition, and their self-efficacy beliefs for engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity were manipulated by providing false feedback after a submaximal exercise test. The participants’ self-efficacy was measured and compared before and after the exercise test and the participants’ enjoyment of physical activity was assessed after the exercise test.
It was found that exercise self-efficacy was successfully manipulated in the expected direction in both conditions, which significantly influenced the participants’ enjoyment of physical activity. After the exercise test, the participants in the low-efficacy condition reported lower enjoyment scores relative to the high-efficacy participants.
These results suggest that self-efficacy may have an important influence on the enjoyment of physical activity among Chinese adolescents. We recommend that physical activity promotion programs should be tailored to enhance adolescents’ self-efficacy beliefs and enjoyment of the experience of physical activity.