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College Students' Motivation to Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

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Abstract:

Objectives : To develop and refine a scale of motivational factors related to healthy weight achievement and maintenance and to examine differences by gender and weight status.

Methods : A cross-sectional survey of 300 university students aged 18-24 years.

Results : Factor analysis yielded 6 factorsIntrinsic (Cronbach's 0.73): affective motivation, self-efficacy/interest; Extrinsic (Cronbach's 0.68): social reward, peer pressure, lack of choice, and authority influence. Males and normal-weight students showed higher affective motivation and overall intrinsic motivation compared to females and overweight students, (P<.001).

Conclusion : Intrinsic motivational factors and gender differences should be considered in developing obesity prevention interventions in this age-group.

Keywords: college students; motivation; obesity; overweight; weight maintenance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.33.3.4

Affiliations: 1 Health Program Coordinator, Office of Special Health Issues, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville MD.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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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