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Kaitlin R. Lilienthal, Anna Evans Pignol, Jeffrey E. Holm and Nancy Vogeltanz-Holm

This study examined the efficacy of motivational interviewing (MI) for increasing physical activity in aging adults. Eighty-six participants aged 55 years and older were randomly assigned to receive either four weekly sessions of telephone-based MI for increasing physical activity, or a healthy activity living guide (information only control). Changes from baseline weekly caloric expenditure from physical activity, self-efficacy for physical activity, and stage of change for physical activity were compared across groups at posttreatment and six months follow-up. Results indicated that MI participants had higher weekly caloric expenditures from physical activity at posttreatment, but not at six months follow-up; higher self-efficacy for physical activity at six months follow-up; and demonstrated greater stage of change progression across assessments. These findings support the use of telephone-based MI for increasing physical activity in older adults in the short-term. Future studies will need to determine if follow-up booster sessions increase long-term efficacy.

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Con Burns, John J. Murphy and Ciaran MacDonncha

Background:

Knowledge of the physical activity correlate profile of adolescent females will provide insight into decreasing physical activity patterns among adolescent females.

Methods:

Correlates of physical activity and physical activity stage of change were assessed during 2007–2008 among 871 Irish adolescent females in years 1–6 in secondary schools (15.28 ± 1.8 years). Multivariate Analysis of Variance was used to identify whether differences in correlates of physical activity could be detected across year in school and physical activity stages of change.

Results:

Significant differences (P < .01) were found in 11 of the 16 measured correlates across year in school and in 14 of the 16 correlates across stage of change. Effect size estimates and regression analysis revealed perceived competence, peer social support and intention to be physically active (partial eta range (ηp 2) .21–.25) to be the most important predictors of physical activity stage of change.

Conclusions:

Females in more senior years in school and in earlier physical activity stages of change reported a significantly less positive physical activity correlate profile than females in junior years and in later physical activity stages of change. This finding supports the construct validity of the physical activity stages of change.

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Stacy L. Gnacinski, William V. Massey, Courtney W. Hess, Mellanie M. Nai, Monna Arvinen-Barrow and Barbara B. Meyer

To enhance the specificity of psychological skills training (PST) interventions, the purpose of the current study was to examine stage of change and gender differences in the combination of transtheoretical model (TTM) constructs (i.e., decisional balance pros and cons, self-efficacy, cognitive and behavioral processes of change) among collegiate student-athletes. Participants (N = 602) completed all TTM measures, and a factorial multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted to examine the effects of stage of change and gender on the combination of TTM constructs. No significant interaction effect was identified, yet significant main effects of stage of change and gender were identified. Post hoc tests revealed unique linear combinations of decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change for each stage of change contrast. Taken together, study findings may be used to enhance the specificity of behavior change interventions when delivering PST programs to both male and female collegiate student-athletes.

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Maria Kosma, Rebecca Ellis Gardner, Bradley J. Cardinal, Jeremy J. Bauer and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

A high proportion of individuals with disabilities remain physically inactive. Therefore, this study (web-based survey) investigated the relationships between the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and physical activity among 224 adults with physical disabilities (M age = 45.4 years, SD = 10.78, females = 71%). Additionally, the most important TTM predictors of the stages of change and physical activity were examined. Standardized self-report scales of the TTM constructs and physical activity were completed. The study findings supported the theorized relationships between the TTM constructs and physical activity. The behavioral and cognitive processes of change distinguished the stages of change. These two constructs and self-efficacy mostly predicted physical activity (R 2 total = .18). The assessment methodology of the TTM constructs needs to be revisited.

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Koichiro Oka and Ai Shibata

Background:

There are no previous data on factors at multiple levels associated with the stages of change for dog walking. The current study examined psychosocial and environmental correlates of the stages of change for dog walking among Japanese dog owners.

Methods:

Dog owners (N = 1940) completed a self-administered questionnaire that included items about demographics as well as psychosocial (dog attachment, dog obligation, normative belief, social norm, social support, self-efficacy) and environmental (access to areas, neighborhood safety, enjoyable scenery, frequently observing others dog walking, area where dogs are allowed to be off the lead) factors. MANOVA and discriminant functional analysis were used.

Results:

The distribution of the dog owners across the stages was as follows: precontemplation (14.7%), contemplation (7.6%), preparation (39.7%), action (2.8%), and maintenance (35.2%). Although differences among the stages were found for all factors in MANOVA, the pattern of distinction among stages differed depending on the factors. Dog obligation and self-efficacy were the best predictors of the stages of change for dog walking.

Conclusions:

Although psychosocial and environmental correlates differed with the stages, psychosocial factors such as the sense of obligation and self-efficacy in dog walking seem to make relatively stronger contributions to distinctions among the stages.

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Colin A. Armstrong, James F. Sallis, Melbourne F. Hovell and C. Richard Hofstetter

Components of the transtheoretical model of change were examined in a prospective study of the adoption of vigorous exercise in adults. Respondents to a random mail survey were resurveyed 2 years later. Those who reported no vigorous exercise at baseline were classified as either contemplators (n = 213) or precontemplators (n = 188). Contemplators had higher baseline self-efficacy scores than precontemplators (p < .001). In multivariate analyses, baseline stage of change was a significant predictor (p < .0005) of later adoption of vigorous exercise, even after controlling for differences in age, gender, and self-efficacy. During the first 6 months postbaseline, contemplators were nearly twice as likely as precontemplators to progress to the stage of action (46% vs. 24%), and four times more likely to progress to the stage of maintenance (25% vs. 6%). Use of the transtheoretical model in the study of exercise was supported in this prospective examination of exercise in a community sample.

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Molly Burger and Dennis Dolny

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships among body mass index (BMI), body image perception, physical activity habits, and exercise stage of change in college-aged females. Volunteers (N = 134) completed a survey of demographics, Stage of Exercise Scale (SOES; Cardinal, 1995a; Cardinal, 1995b), Physical Activity History questionnaire (PAH; Jacobs, Hahn, Haskell, Pirie, & Sidney, 1989), and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ; Cooper, Taylor, Cooper, & Fairburn, 1987). Participants were categorized into five exercise stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Relationships between the variables were analyzed with Pearson r correlations. Kruskal-Wallis independence tests were also used for analyses. Approximately 60% of the participants reported current physical inactivity or irregular exercise. BMI and body image score were significantly linearly related, with higher body mass indicating more negative body image (r = 30, p <.017). Significant differences existed between exercise stages for physical activity score, X2 (3, N = 134) = 19.98, p <.05. Based upon follow-up tests participants in the maintenance stage had significantly higher physical activity scores than all other stages. No significant differences were found for BMI or body image between exercise stages. Regular exercisers had the highest frequency of disordered eating and weight-preoccupied attitudes and behaviors. The majority of these women were not currently regularly physically active, professed dissatisfaction with their current level of activity, and expressed a fear of being fat. Further study directed at specific factors related to body image and exercise behaviors, as well as the impact of stage-specific interventions are suggested.

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Maria Kosma, Rebecca Ellis, Bradley J. Cardinal, Jeremy J. Bauer and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

The study’s purpose was to identify the mediating role of intention and the stages of change (SOC) in physical activity (PA) over a 6-month period using two models (Theory of Planned Behavior [TPB] and TPB/SOC). Participants were 143 adults with physical disabilities (70.68% response rate; M age = 46.03). The TPB constructs, SOC (time 1), and PA (time 2) were assessed using standardized self-report questionnaires. Based on path analyses, attitude had the highest effect on intention and SOC followed by perceived behavioral control within both well-fit models. The variance in PA explained by the first (TPB) and second (TPB/SOC) models was 16% and 28% respectively. In the just identified model of TPB/SOC, the direct effect of SOC on physical activity remained strong (γsoc.pa = .45) and SOC approached full mediation through attitude. Health promotion interventions need to include both intention and behavior elements (SOC) reinforcing increased PA value and barrier elimination.

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Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Ingrid E. Schneider and Mark A. Pereira

Background:

Public parks are increasingly recognized as important places that facilitate physical activity. Despite the presence of parks, constraints to recreation and physical activity at parks exist. As the health benefits identified with physical activity require long-term and regular activity, it is important to examine factors pertaining to physical activity participation beyond initiation. This study explored differences in reported constraints to park based physical activity and negotiation strategies by physical activity stage of change.

Methods:

Data were collected among visitors to one Minnesota state park via onsite and follow-up questionnaires.

Results:

The average visitor had a healthier weight than the average U.S. and Minnesota adult and the majority of visitors were meeting the physical activity recommendations (86.4%). Respondents in the inactive/insufficient stages were more constrained and used fewer negotiation strategies than respondents in the maintenance stage.

Conclusions:

Results both support and expand on previous research findings. Specifically, this study supports research which indicates the adoption and maintenance of physical activity are influenced by different individual, social and environmental factors, and expands the research base by examining constraints and negotiation at different physical activity stages in a park setting. Implications of these findings provide directions for future stage-based intervention efforts.

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Yanping Duan, Walter Brehm, Petra Wagner, Pak-Kwong Chung, Sebastian Graf, Ru Zhang and Gangyan Si

Background:

A successful transition from late adolescence to adulthood is essential. Physical activity (PA) can support this process and lead to positive health outcomes. The change in PA from inactive to active stages is influenced by psychosocial correlates, and as such, this study tested the relationships among psychosocial correlates, stages of change for PA and health outcomes in university students from Hong Kong (n = 404) and Germany (n = 366).

Methods:

The questionnaire contained (1) PA and stages of change; (2) 10 psychosocial correlates including outcome expectations, affective attitude, barriers, self-efficacy, body-concept, plans, intrinsic motivation, activity emotions, assessment of activity situation, and social support; and (3) 5 health outcomes, including fitness, subjective well-being, health satisfaction, physical complaints, and BMI.

Results:

Barriers and intrinsic motivation were the critical psychosocial variables related to stages of change. Specific planning was more important for Hong Kong students’ stage progression within inactive stages. Competitive or enjoyable PA programs were more effective for male students moving from inactive to active stages. The link between stages of change for PA and health outcomes (ie, fitness, health satisfaction) was well established.

Conclusion:

Public health researchers should conduct effective psychosocial interventions that motivate young adults to engage in PA for positive health outcomes.