The Effects of Exercise Advertising on Self-efficacy and Decisional Balance

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Objectives: To investigate the effects of exercise advertising on self-efficacy and decisional balance for changing exercise behavior. Methods: One hundred seventy-four university students (females = 108; males = 66) watched a video that contained health, appearance, or control advertising and completed stage of change, exercise self-efficacy, and decisional balance questionnaires. Results: There was a significant condition by gender interaction indicating that men in the appearance condition had lower self-efficacy than did females. Health promotion advertising did not have any effect. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the message in appearance-based advertising that men should be muscular may be detrimental.

Keywords: advertising; decisional balance; exercise; self-efficacy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 2: School of Physical Education, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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