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Perceived variety, psychological needs satisfaction and exercise-related well-being

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Objective: Perceived variety represents a psychosocial experience that gives rise to, and supports the maintenance of, an individual’s well-being. In this study, we developed an instrument to measure perceived variety in exercise (PVE), and examined whether ratings of PVE predict unique variance in indices of exercise-related well-being in addition to that explained by satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs (for competence, relatedness and autonomy) embedded within self-determination theory (SDT). We also examined the extent to which variance in perceived variety is empirically distinct from (or subsumed by) competence, relatedness and autonomy in the context of exercise.

Methods: A convenience sample of community adults (N =507) completed online surveys twice over a six-week period (N = 367).

Results: PVE was found to prospectively predict unique variance in indices of exercise-related well-being, in addition to that explained by perceived competence, relatedness and autonomy. Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analytic procedures, perceived variety was found to be empirically distinct from perceived competence, relatedness and autonomy.

Conclusion: Results from this work suggest that perceived variety holds potential for theoretical and applied advancements in understanding and predicting well-being in exercise settings.
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Keywords: basic psychological needs theory; physical activity; variety; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Kinesiology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada 2: Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, England 3: Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Canada 4: Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Publication date: September 2, 2014

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