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Amy E. Latimer, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis and B. Catherine Craven

Using the theory of planned behavior as a theoretical framework, the present study examined psychosocial predictors of exercise intentions and behavior among 124 men and women with spinal cord injury. Theory of planned behavior constructs were measured using an exercise–specific questionnaire for individuals with spinal cord injury. Exercise behavior was assessed using an adapted version of the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire. Regression analyses indicated that the theory of planned behavior had limited utility in this population. Among individuals with tetrapelgia, perceived behavioral control was the only determinant of exercise intentions and behavior. Among people with paraplegia, none of the theory of planned behavior constructs predicted exercise intentions or behavior. These results have methodological and practical implications for future research and exercise interventions, respectively.

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Kerry S. Courneya, Jeffrey K.H. Vallance, Lee W. Jones and Tony Reiman

In the present study we examined the demographic, medical, and social cognitive correlates of exercise intentions in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) survivors using the theory of planned behavior (TPB). Participants were 399 NHL survivors who completed a mailed survey that assessed demographics, past exercise, and the TPB (i.e., intention, perceived behavioral control, affective and instrumental attitudes, and subjective norm). Descriptive data indicated that only about 50% of NHL survivors intended to exercise at levels that are consistent with current public health guidelines. In support of the TPB, multiple regression analysis indicated that the model explained 55% of the variance in exercise intentions, with perceived behavioral control (β = .47), affective attitude (β = .23), and subjective norm (β = .15), being the most important correlates. It was concluded that the TPB provides a good framework on which to base interventions designed to increase exercise intentions in NHL survivors.

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Ian M. Taylor, Nikos Ntoumanis, Martyn Standage and Christopher M. Spray

Grounded in self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000), the current study explored whether physical education (PE) students’ psychological needs and their motivational regulations toward PE predicted mean differences and changes in effort in PE, exercise intentions, and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) over the course of one UK school trimester. One hundred and seventy-eight students (69% male) aged between 11 and 16 years completed a multisection questionnaire at the beginning, middle, and end of a school trimester. Multilevel growth models revealed that students’ perceived competence and self-determined regulations were the most consistent predictors of the outcome variables at the within- and between-person levels. The results of this work add to the extant SDT-based literature by examining change in PE students’ motivational regulations and psychological needs, as well as underscoring the importance of disaggregating within- and between-student effects.

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A. Justine Dowd, Toni Schmader, Benjamin D. Sylvester, Mary E. Jung, Bruno D. Zumbo, Luc J. Martin and Mark R. Beauchamp

The objective of the studies presented in this paper was to examine whether the need to belong can be used to enhance exercise cognitions and behavior. Two studies examined the effectiveness of framing exercise as a means of boosting social skills (versus health benefits) for self-regulatory efficacy, exercise intentions, and (in Study 2) exercise behavior. In Study 1, inactive adults primed to feel a lack of social belonging revealed that this manipulation led to greater self-regulatory efficacy (but not exercise intentions). In Study 2, involving a sample of inactive lonely adults, all participants reported engaging in more exercise; however, those in the social skills condition also reported a greater sense of belonging than those in the health benefits comparison condition. These findings provide an important basis for developing physical activity interventions that might be particularly relevant for people at risk for feeling socially isolated or lonely.

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L. Darren Kruisselbrink, Ann M. Dodge, Sherry L. Swanburg and Amanda L. MacLeod

Situational social physique anxiety (SPA) and immediate exercise intentions in male and female fitness club members were examined in response to all-female, all-male, and mixed-sex exercise setting scenarios. Overall, women showed higher levels of situational SPA than men. SPA increased significantly from an all-female, to a mixed-sex, to an all-male exercise setting for women but not for men. More women indicated they would shorten their workout in response to the all-male vs. all-female or mixed-sex exercise scenarios. For all-male and mixed-sex scenarios, participants who intended to shorten their workout also tended to report higher situational SPA scores. The results indicate that the presence of men in an exercise setting stimulates physique anxiety in women, and that exercising in an all-female environment may have the least negative impact on the exercise behavior of women.

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Galen A. Yordy and Robert W. Lent

This study explored the utility of reasoned action, planned behavior, and social cognitive models in explaining aerobic exercise intentions and behavior. Two hundred eighty-four college students completed measures of each model's central predictor variables, as well as indices of prior exercise frequency and future exercise intentions and behavior. Findings indicate that the reasoned action and social cognitive models are each significantly predictive of future exercise intention and behavior. The planned behavior model did not improve over the theory of reasoned action in predictive analyses. The effects of prior exercise activity on future exercise behavior are also partially mediated by variables from the reasoned action and social cognitive models. Implications for further research on theories of exercise behavior are discussed.

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Athanasios Papaioannou, Herbert W. Marsh and Yannis Theodorakis

Motivational climate is inherently a group-level construct so that longitudinal, multilevel designs are needed to evaluate its effects on subsequent outcomes. Based on a large sample of physical education classes (2,786 students, 200 classes, 67 teachers), we evaluated the effects of classroom motivational climate (task-involving and ego-involving) and individual goal orientations (task and ego) on individual students’ outcomes (intrinsic motivation, attitudes, physical self-concept, and exercise intentions) collected early (T1) and late (T2) in the school year. Using a multilevel approach, we found significant class-average differences in motivational climate at T1 that had positive effects on T2 outcomes after controlling T1 outcomes. Although there was no support for a “compatibility hypothesis” (e.g., that task oriented students were more benefited by task-involving motivation climates), the stability of goal orientations was undermined by incompatible climates.

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Monika Slovinec D’Angelo, Robert D. Reid and Luc G. Pelletier

Despite the known benefits of habitual exercise in patients with heart disease, less than half of these patients exercise regularly and many of those who initiate programs fail to maintain physical activity routines over the long term. The aim of this research was to examine processes related to short- and long-term regulation of exercise to gain a clearer understanding of why people might fail to maintain intended behavioral changes. We modeled intention formation and plan formulation to investigate the distinct roles of self-efficacy and motivation (self-determination) in different phases of behavior change. Our results showed self-efficacy to be more relevant to exercise intentions and motivation to exercise planning. This research provides evidence supporting the proposition that the psychological processes related to short- and long-term regulation of behavior change differ and suggests that people might fail to continue regulating intended behavior owing to a lack of self-determined motivation.

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Paul Norman and Mark Conner

Two studies on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and exercise behavior are reported that consider the mediating and moderating effects of planning on intention-behavior relationships. Undergraduate students (N = 125 and N = 102) completed questionnaires assessing TPB constructs, planning, and past exercise behavior. The TPB was highly predictive of exercise intentions (R 2 = .37 and .62) and future behavior (R 2 = .43 and .49) assessed at 2 weeks (Study 1) and 1 week (Study 2) follow-up. Planning was found to mediate the impact of intention on future behavior (Study 2) and to moderate the intention/behavior relationship (both studies). The results are discussed in relation to recent models of health behavior that focus on the volitional (i.e., postdecisional) phase of health behavior.

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Lauren K. Banting, James A. Dimmock and J. Robert Grove

This study examined the effect of motivational primes on participants (N = 171) during a cycling task. Relative to participants primed with a controlled motivational orientation, it was hypothesized that participants primed for autonomous motivation would report greater feelings of enjoyment, effort, and choice in relation to the cycling activity and report greater exercise intentions. Members of the autonomous prime group were expected to exercise for longer, at a greater percentage of their heart rate maximum, and report lower levels of perceived exertion than those in the controlled prime condition. It was found that, relative to participants in the controlled prime group, those who received the autonomous prime enjoyed the exercise more, exercised at a greater percentage of heart rate maximum, and reported a lower rating of perceived exertion. Furthermore, participants experiencing the controlled prime exercised for less time and had lower intentions to exercise than did other participants. Results highlight the importance of automatic processes in activating motivation for exercise.