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C17L FREE COMMUNICATION/POSTER DETERMINANTS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - I

EXTRINSIC AND INTRINSIC MOTIVATION: WHICH IS IMPORTANT FOR EXERCISE?

Lee, R E.1; DiClemente, C C.1

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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2001 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p S112
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Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation have been shown to be important predictors of exercise adoption and maintenance; very little is known about the specific aspects of motivation that contribute to exercise behavior. The current study examined multidimensional measures of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to evaluate which specific aspects of motivation are related to exercise behavior. Healthy college students (101 women, 83 men), aged 18 or 19 years, completed Lee's extrinsic motivation questionnaire (13 items), McAuley's intrinsic motivation inventory (21 items) and the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Items from the extrinsic and intrinsic measures were factor analyzed using varimax rotation to reveal 7 factors: 3 were primarily extrinsic (attractiveness/success, social comparison, tangible rewards) and 4 intrinsic (enjoyment, achievement, pressure, choice). Bivariate analyses showed that women perceived greater pressure (p < .05), lower social comparison (p < .001) and lower tangible rewards (p < .001) for exercise. Greater exercise was significantly associated with all motivation factors except tangible rewards. After controlling for gender and BMI, achievement (β = .41, p < .001) and social comparison (β = .16, p < .06) were positively related to exercise behavior. Women may be less responsive to extrinsic motivators. Specific kinds of both extrinsic motivators (social comparison) and intrinsic motivators (achievement) may be important to maintain exercise behavior. Results further clarify the components of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation most salient to exercise behavior, and suggest that exercise promotion efforts may be most successful by tailoring specific aspects of motivation rather than global extrinsic and intrinsic and intrinsic constructs.

©2001The American College of Sports Medicine