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David A. Dzewaltowski, John M. Noble, and Jeff M. Shaw

Social cognitive theory and the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior were examined in the prediction of 4 weeks of physical activity participation. The theories of reasoned action and planned behavior were supported. Attitude and perceived control predicted intention, and intention predicted physical activity participation. The social cognitive theory variables significantly predicted physical activity participation, with self-efficacy and self-evaluation of the behavior significantly contributing to the prediction. The greater the confidence in participating in physical activity and the greater the satisfaction with present physical activity, the more physical activity performed. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that perceived control and intentions did not account for any unique variation in physical activity participation over self-efficacy. Therefore the social cognitive theory constructs were better predictors of physical activity than those from the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior.

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Jeffrey J. Martin and Nate McCaughtry

Researchers using social cognitive theory and employing built environment constructs to predict physical activity (PA) in inner-city African American children is quite limited. Thus, the purpose of our investigation was to evaluate the ability of important social cognitive variables (e.g., self-efficacy) and built environment constructs (e.g., neighborhood hazards) to predict African American children’s PA. Children (N = 331, ages 10–14) completed questionnaires assessing social cognitive theory constructs and PA. Using multiple regression analyses we were able to account for 19% of the variance in PA. Based on standardized beta weights, the best predictors of PA were time spent outside and social support derived from friends. These findings illuminate the valuable role of PA support from peers, as well as the simple act of going outside for inner-city African American children.

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M. Renée Umstattd and Jeffrey Hallam

Exercise is consistently related to physical and psychological health benefits in older adults. Bandura’s social-cognitive theory (SCT) is one theoretical perspective on understanding and predicting exercise behavior. Thus, the authors examined whether three SCT variables—self-efficacy, self-regulation, and outcome-expectancy value—predicted older adults’ (N = 98) exercise behavior. Bivariate analyses revealed that regular exercise was associated with being male, White, and married; having higher income, education, and self-efficacy; using self-regulation skills; and having favorable outcome-expectancy values (p < .05). In a simultaneous multivariate model, however, self-regulation (p = .0097) was the only variable independently associated with regular exercise. Thus, exercise interventions targeting older adults should include components aimed at increasing the use of self-regulation strategies.

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Yoojin Suh, Robert W. Motl, Connor Olsen, and Ina Joshi


Physical inactivity is prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and this highlights the importance of developing behavioral interventions for increasing physical activity (PA) in MS. This pilot trial examined the efficacy of a 6-week, behavioral intervention based on social cognitive theory (SCT) delivered by newsletters and phone calls for increasing PA in persons with MS who were physically inactive and had middle levels of self-efficacy.


The sample included 68 persons with relapsing-remitting MS who were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received SCT-based information by newsletters and phone calls, whereas the controls received information regarding topics such as stress management over 6 weeks. Participants completed self-report of PA and social cognitive variables.


The intervention group had a significant increase in self-reported PA (d = 0.56, P = .02) over the 6 weeks, but the controls had a nonsignificant change (d = –0.13, P = .45). Goal setting was changed in the intervention group (d = 0.68, P ≤ .01) and identified as a significant mediator of change in self-reported PA.


This study provides initial evidence for the benefit of a theory-based behavioral intervention for increasing PA in MS.

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Kyrah K. Brown, Jerrise Smith, Tamaya N. Bailey, Gennel Ortiz, Xiangli Gu, and Priscila Tamplain

, 2007 ). In the present study, parental perspectives were explored using the lens of social cognitive theory (SCT). The SCT is a theoretical model of human behavior used to identify and explore factors associated with a parent’s decision to enroll children in community-based interventions ( Biedenweg et

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Maria Kavussanu and Christopher Ring

testing a model of doping based on Bandura’s ( 1991 ) social cognitive theory of moral thought and action and the sociocognitive model of moral identity ( Aquino & Reed, 2002 ). Social Cognitive Theory and Doping Bandura ( 1991 ) proposed that individuals develop moral standards through socialization

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David N. Daum and Amelia M. Woods

K-12 online physical education (OLPE) is as an educational opportunity in at least 30 states in the US (NASPE, 2006; 2010; 2012). The purpose of this study was to examine physical education teacher educators’ perceptions toward and understanding of K-12 OLPE. Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (1986) served as the theoretical framework for this study. Data were collected utilizing semistructured open-ended interviews. Participants (N = 25) were current physical education teacher education (PETE) faculty members at universities granting bachelor’s degrees in physical education certification. Participants believed that NASPE (2004) National Physical Education Standards could be met online, except for Standard 1, which relates to motor skill competency. Participants were almost unanimous in their beliefs that OLPE should not be designed for elementary-aged children, but is viable at the high school level. This study provided initial insight into PETE faculty members’ knowledge about and perceptions of K-12 OLPE, however additional research is warranted.

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Corjena Cheung, Jean F. Wyman, and Kay Savik

Yoga is beneficial for osteoarthritis (OA) management in older adults; however, adherence to yoga practice is unknown. The purposes of this secondary analysis were to examine: (1) yoga adherence during the intervention and follow-up periods; (2) the relationship between social cognitive theory (SCT) constructs and adherence; and (3) the impact of adherence on OA-related symptoms in 36 community-dwelling older women with knee OA. SCT was used as a framework to promote adherence to a yoga intervention program that included both group/home-based practices. Adherence to yoga was high during the intervention period but decreased over time. Although SCT was a useful framework for reducing attrition during the intervention, self-efficacy was the only construct that correlated with class attendance. Higher yoga adherence was correlated with improved symptoms, physical function, sleep quality, and quality of life. Yoga adherers were likely to be older, less educated, and had a lower body mass index than nonadherers.

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Laura Q. Rogers, Stephen Markwell, Patricia Hopkins-Price, Sandy Vicari, Kerry S. Courneya, Karen Hoelzer, and Steven Verhulst

To better understand mechanisms of physical activity (PA) behavior change in breast cancer survivors, we examined mediation of a successful PA behavior change intervention by social cognitive theory (SCT) constructs. Our exploratory study randomized 41 breast cancer survivors to receive the 3-month intervention (INT) or usual care (UC). We used the Freedman and Schatzkin approach to examine mediation of intervention effect on PA 3 months postintervention by changes in SCT constructs from baseline to immediately postintervention. Compared with UC, the INT group reported lower barriers interference (mean difference = −7.8, 95% CI [−15.1, −0.4], d = −0.67, p = .04) and greater PA enjoyment (mean difference = 0.7, 95% CI [0, 1.5], d = 0.61, p = .06). Barriers interference mediated 39% (p = .004) of the intervention effect on PA 3 months postintervention. PA enjoyment was not a significant mediator. Reducing barriers to PA partially explained our intervention effect.