Annual Meeting Abstracts: B-26 – Free Communication/Poster: Determinants of Physical Activity
Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) suggests that behavior is a result of reciprocal interactions between personal, environmental, and behavioral factors. The theory has been utilized to explain exercise behavior. Despite the theories wide use in interventions to promote physical activity, few studies have described the association between SCT and the dependent variable using models containing multiple SCT constructs. PURPOSE: To examine the associations between SCT constructs and days of moderate and vigorous physical activity in college students. METHOD: Subjects were recruited from four general health classes after IRB approval was obtained. The classes were comprised of students from different academic levels and majors. Students were surveyed each week, for six consecutive weeks. Valid and reliable instruments were used to measure friend and family social support, outcome expectancy value, flow, exercise role identity, self-efficacy, self-regulation, and physical activity. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to examine the relationships among the independent (SCT constructs) and moderate days of physical activity as well as vigorous days of physical activity using two separate models. Variables were entered into the model based on their relationship to the dependent variable. Social support was entered first, followed by outcome expectancy value, flow, exercise role identity, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. RESULTS: All SCT constructs were significantly associated with moderate (Model I) and vigorous (Model II) days of physical activity (p < 0.05). The SCT constructs accounted for 21% of the total variance in moderate days of physical activity and 32% of the total variance in vigorous days of physical activity. CONCLUSION: The SCT constructs examined in this study were significant predictors of moderate and vigorous days of physical activity performed by college students. It appears that SCT variables differ in their relationship to moderate and vigorous physical activity. This finding may indicate that moderate and vigorous physical activity are not similar behaviors. These results could have implications for physical activity program development at the college level.