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Self-regulation and Physical Activity: The Relationship in Older Adults

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Objectives : To examine the relationship between self-regulation and physical activity (PA) in older adults.

Methods : A convenience sample (N=284) of older adults (M age=70.4 years) was surveyed.

Results : Multivariate analyses controlling for self-efficacy and socio-demographic variables revealed that using self-regulatory strategies more extensively, being male, and having better self-report health were significantly related to greater PA engagement. Supportive of a social cognitive perspective, results were also consistent with mediation, where self-regulation partially mediated the relationship between self-efficacy and PA.

Conclusions : Further examination of these relationships using prospective and experimental designs is recommended. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords: mediating effects; older adults; physical activity; self-efficacy; self-regulation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Assistant Profesor, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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