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Sociocultural Influences on Exercise Behaviors and Attitudes in Adolescence

Kalli A. Reynolds, Emma Haycraft, and Carolyn R. Plateau

groups, fasting, occasional binging ) and unhealthy, compulsive exercise behaviors. 12 , 13 Adolescence is therefore a critical time period when physical activity and exercise attitudes and behaviors can undergo significant changes. Understanding the influences that drive these changes is therefore of

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Goal Settings Self-Efficacy, and Exercise Behavior

Kim Poag and Edward McAuley

Whereas the success of goal setting is well documented in the industrial-organizational literature (Locke & Latham, 1990), the empirical efforts to determine its effectiveness in sport settings have met with minimal success, and no studies exist that document the role played by goals in successful adherence to exercise regimens. We examined the relationships among goals, efficacy, and exercise behavior in the context of community conditioning classes. Female participants' goal efficacy was predictive of perceived goal achievement at the end of the program, and exercise self-efficacy was significantly related to subsequent intensity but not frequency of exercise participation. Moreover, a proposed interaction between exercise importance and self-efficacy failed to account for further variation in physical activity participation. The results are discussed in terms of the physical activity history of the sample and the roles played by goals and efficacy at diverse stages of the exercise process.

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Application of the Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior to Exercise Behavior: A Meta-Analysis

Heather A. Hausenblas, Albert V. Carron, and Diane E. Mack

The primary purpose of this study was to use meta-analysis to statistically examine the utility of the theory of reasoned action (TRA) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) for the explanation and prediction of exercise behavior. The results showed that the effect size for the relationships (a) between intention and exercise behavior, attitude and intention, attitude and exercise behavior, perceived behavioral control and intention, and perceived behavioral control and exercise behavior was large; (b) between subjective norm and intention was moderate; and (c) between subjective norm and exercise behavior was zero-order. The results also supported the conclusions that (a) TPB is superior to TRA in accounting for exercise behavior, (b) there is no differences in the ability to predict exercise behavior from proximal and distal measures of intention, and (c) expectation is a better predictor of exercise behavior than intention.

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Exercise and Existence: Exercise Behavior from an Existential-Phenomenological Perspective

Larry L. Fahlberg, Lauri A. Fahlberg, and Ward K. Gates

The difficulty in understanding human behavior requires using whatever approaches that address the questions. Concerning such questions, four forces have emerged in psychology representing variations in ontology, philosophies of science, and concomitant epistemologies and methodologies. Nonetheless, when viewed from a metapsychological perspective, one force has predominated in exercise psychology to the exclusion of the remaining three. A recognition of the complexity in exercise behavior calls for additional psychologies that provide an expanded perspective for understanding the problems and questions that arise. Exercise dependency is an example of such a problem, and existential psychology will be introduced as a means of studying and understanding this problem. An example of existential-phenomenological research on exercise behavior is included to demonstrate the possibility of such inquiry and to exemplify contributions to understanding that might ensue.

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Reasons for Exercise Behavior Among American and Chinese College Women

Zi Yan, Bonnie Berger, David Tobar, and Bradley J. Cardinal

The exercise motivation of American and Chinese college women was examined. American women were found to exercise more for fitness, physical attractiveness, and weight control, and the Chinese women more for enjoyment. Women in different stages of exercise behavior expressed different reasons for exercise in terms of enjoyment, fitness, health, mood, and physical attractiveness. Focusing one’s attention on reasons such as enjoyment for Chinese women and fitness, physical attractiveness, and weight control for American women may be important in terms of exercise participation. The long-term exercisers expressed higher levels of motivation in terms of enjoyment, fitness, health, mood, and physical attractiveness.

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Relationship between Self-Reported and Physiological Indicators of Exercise Behavior in Older Women

Joanne Kraenzle Schneider

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-reported exercise behavior and physiological indicators of exercise behavior (body composition and oxygen consumption measures) in older women. Three self-report exercise behavior instruments were administered in counterbalanced order. Body mass index and sums of skinfold thicknesses were used as measures of body composition. Oxygen consumption was measured using a metabolic cart during a treadmill test while women walked at approximately 70% of their heart rate reserve. Fifty-nine women participated (68.7 ± 6.0 years). Results showed that self-reported exercise behavior was moderately related to body composition measures. However, predicted maximal oxygen consumption was only weakly related to self-reported exercise behavior.

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Are There “Healthy” and “Unhealthy” Reasons for Exercise? Examining Individual Differences in Exercise Motivations Using the Function of Exercise Scale

Patricia Marten DiBartolo, Linda Lin, Simone Montoya, Heather Neal, and Carey Shaffer

This study reports the psychometric development of a measure to assess individual differences in exercise motivations using a functionalist strategy (Snyder & Cantor, 1997). Factor analyses revealed two subscales for the newly developed Function of Exercise Scale (FES): Weight and Appearance (WA), and Health and Enjoyment (HE). FES-HE scores correlated with better psychological well-being and predicted prospectively monitored as well as concurrently and longitudinally assessed exercise behavior. FES-HE scores also correlated with lower pulse, systolic blood pressure, and salivary cortisol readings, indicating its association with better physical health. In contrast, FES-WA scores correlated with greater depressive and eating disorder symptoms, as well as lower self-esteem, and predicted the later emergence of eating disorder, but not depressive, symptoms. FES-WA scores failed to show a relationship with measures of physical well-being, including exercise engagement and vital sign data. Overall, the FES appears to hold promise as a succinct and psychometrically sound heuristic for meaningfully relating exercise motivations to important indices of both physical and psychological well-being.

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Conscientiousness and the Intention–Behavior Relationship: Predicting Exercise Behavior

Mark Conner, Wendy Rodgers, and Terra Murray

The present study examined the moderating role of conscientiousness within the theory of planned behavior (TPB) for exercise behavior during usual vs. unusual context. Affective and cognitive attitude, subjective and descriptive norm, perceived behavioral control, behavioral intention, past behavior, conscientiousness, and self-reported behavior were assessed in relation to exercising in a sample of university students (n = 146). Conscientiousness was found to significantly moderate the intention–behavior relationship when the behavior was performed in unusual context (exercising during a reading week of term), but not when behavior was performed in usual context (exercising during a normal week of term). The find-ings indicate a role for conscientiousness in understanding intention–behavior relationships when the context of behavior is changing or unknown.

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Exercise Behavior among New Zealand Adolescents: A Test of the Transtheoretical Model

Ralph Maddison and Harry Prapavessis

The purpose of this study was to examine whether variables in the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) acted more as predictors than as consequences of exercise behavior (stage of change). Students from 13 New Zealand high schools (N = 1,434) completed questionnaires corresponding to variables in the TTM (i.e., stage of exercise change, processes of change, self-efficacy, and decisional balance) at two time periods separated by 6 months. Reciprocal relationships were found between exercise behavior and the TTM variables. The TTM might be a useful framework for understanding longitudinal exercise behavior in the adolescent population.

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The Disconnected Values Model: Intervention Strategies for Exercise Behavior Change

Mark H. Anshel

This article proposes a new approach to health behavior change, the disconnected values (intervention) model (DVM). The DVM consists of predetermined cognitive-behavioral strategies for initiating and maintaining changes in health behavior, such as the implementation of an exercise program. The model consists of helping clients (a) examine the benefits, in contrast to the costs and long-term consequences, of the habit they most want to change; (b) identify their deepest values and beliefs (e.g., health, family, faith, integrity); (c) detect a “disconnect” between the negative habit and the identified values; and (d) conclude whether the disconnect is acceptable, given its costs and long-term consequences. The client’s conclusion that the disconnect is unacceptable creates incentive and commitment for health behavior change. The theoretical foundations of the DVM are explained, and its specific application for exercise behavior change is described. Three outcome studies also are reported, as well as a brief case study. Implications for practitioners and suggestions for future research are provided.