Title page for ETD etd-02102008-164930

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Johnson, Elizabeth
Author's Email Address ejohns05@vt.edu
URN etd-02102008-164930
Title The Relationship of Environmental, Social and Individual Factors and Physical Activity Participation Level in Young Adults
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Winett, Richard A. Committee Chair
Anderson, Eileen S. Committee Member
Clum, George A. Jr. Committee Member
Davy, Brenda M. Committee Member
  • physical activity
  • social ecology
  • affect
Date of Defense 2008-01-16
Availability unrestricted
Objective: To explore the relationship between individual factors (i.e. affect, self-efficacy, and self-regulation), social and environmental factors, and their effects on the level of participation in physical activity (PA). Design: Undergraduate and graduate students (N = 386) completed 11 online measures assessing physical activity level and reactions to physical activity participation at Time 1, 9 online measures at Time 2, and a measure of physical activity participation at Time 3. Measures included those assessing affective reactions to PA, outcome expectancy, self-efficacy, self-regulation, social support, and perceptions of the environment. Results: Affect had a small total effect on METs (ß=.13, p=.03), which was partially mediated by self-regulation, a strong predictor of METs (ß=.45, p<.01). The total effect of affect on METs was substantially reduced (ß=.05, p=.34) when self-efficacy was added as a precursor in the model. Self-efficacy influenced both METs (ß=.39, p<.01) and affect (ß=.23, p<.01). Adding environment and social support as predictors of self-efficacy (ß=.23, p<.01; ß=.19, p<.01, respectively) further reduced the influence of affect on METs (ß=.03, p=.63) as environment and social support influenced affect (ß=.20, p<.01; ß=.14, p=.02, respectively) and METs (ß=.15, p=.02; ß=.21, p<.01, respectively). Conclusion: As in earlier studies of acute affective response to PA, these results provide evidence that anticipatory affect is positively associated with behavioral decision-making related to PA participation. Although increasing an individual’s self-efficacy for PA should increase their affective association with the behavior, affect may not influence PA decision-making independently of self-efficacy and ecological factors (i.e. environment and social support).
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