EXERCISE BARRIERS, SELF-EFFICACY, AND STAGES OF CHANGE1

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Abstract

This study assessed whether college students in various stages of change relative to exercise adherence would rate self-efficacy and barriers to exercise differently. A total of 198 participants (49 men, 149 women) ranging in age from 17 to 38 years (M = 20.4, SD = 2.3) completed surveys measuring exercise behavior, barriers to exercise, and both task and coping self-efficacy. Multivariate tests yielded significant differences in means on task self-efficacy, coping self-efficacy, and perceived barriers to exercise. Implications are that people who do not exercise or exercise sporadically perceive more barriers to exercise than those who exercise regularly. Also, people who exercise regularly rate their confidence higher (i.e., self-efficacy) to overcome obstacles to exercise. Health practitioners may find useful assessments of baseline self-efficacy and perceived barriers before implementing exercise programs.

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