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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

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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

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Thomas D. Kane, Michelle A. Marks, Stephen J. Zaccaro and Virginia Blair

Goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990) and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) converged on a single model describing the relationships among prior performance, self-efficacy, personal goals, and individual performance. The model, portraying self-regulatory processes, guided an investigation of the performance of 216 wrestlers competing at a wrestling camp. Two hypotheses were tested. First, general support was expected for the self-regulatory model. Second, self-efficacy was predicted to be especially relevant for performance under extremely competitive conditions (i.e., overtime match performance). Both hypotheses were supported. Analyses using LISREL VI supported the relationships posited by the self-regulatory model. Also, self-efficacy was found to be the only significant predictor of wrestlers’ performance in overtime matches.

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Jimmy Sanderson, Blair Browning and Annelie Schmittel

College athletes are active on a variety of social-media platforms. As a result, most athletic departments require them to participate in social-media education. Although this practice is becoming more prominent, little research has explored how college athletes perceive such training. This case study explored college athletes’ social-media use and their perceptions about social-media education. Semi structured interviews of 20 college athletes at a Division I university were conducted. Using social-cognitive theory as a framework, analysis revealed that while participants expressed a desire for social-media education, they indicated that most of the messages they receive about social media tend to be forgettable. Consequently, athletic departments need to take a more refexive approach to social-media education that incorporates college athletes’ feedback to optimize this instruction.

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Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Klaus Gebel and David Revalds Lubans

Background:

According to social-cognitive theory (SCT), self-efficacy affects health behavior both directly and indirectly by influencing how individuals perceive their environment. This study examines whether perceptions of home and school environment mediate the association between self-efficacy and physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior in adolescent girls.

Methods:

Baseline data from the Nutrition and Enjoyable Activity for Teen Girls (NEAT) was used for this study. Grade 8 female students (n = 357) were recruited from 12 secondary schools located in low-income communities in the Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia. PA was assessed using accelerometers, and sedentary behavior by self-report and accelerometers. Self-reported measures were used for perceived home and school environment and self-efficacy. Multilevel regression models were calculated to determine if the perceived environment mediated the relationship between self-efficacy with both PA and sedentary behavior.

Results:

The perceptions of the school and home environment did not mediate the relationship between PA self-efficacy and PA behavior or sedentary behavior.

Conclusion:

The mediated models were not supported for PA or sedentary behavior. However, other results of this paper may be helpful for future theory development and practice. More research is needed to understand behaviors in unique populations such as this.

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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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Melissa N. Galea, Steven R. Bray and Kathleen A. Martin Ginis

This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators associated with walking for exercise among people who experience intermittent claudication. Fifteen individuals (7 men and 8 women) participated in 3 focus groups that were tape-recorded and content analyzed. A social-cognitive framework was used to categorize barriers and facilitators as those related to the person, to the activity, or to the environment. Variables identified included those specific to intermittent claudication and those common among the general population. Barriers to walking included irregular or graded walking surfaces, uncertainty about the outcome of walking, ambiguity regarding pain, the need to take rest breaks, and the presence of leg pain. Facilitating factors included availability of a resting place, use of cognitive coping strategies, companionship support, and availability of a treadmill-walking program. Findings are interpreted in light of current research on exercise determinants and encourage prospective examinations of the predictive validity of these factors for walking.