LEARNED RESOURCEFULNESS, SELF-MOTIVATION, AND COMMITMENT AS PREDICTORS OF AEROBIC EXERCISE ADHERENCE IN COLLEGE STUDENTS
Mahoney, Colleen Anna
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In this study of exercise adherence among traditional-age college students, a number of variables were used to discriminate between those who adhere to regular aerobic exercise, those who adhere to regular non-aerobic exercise, and those who do not exercise regularly but intend to do so. The relative importance of learned resourcefulness, self-motivation, commitment to aerobic exercise, and various demographic variables to predict exercise adherence was assessed. The instruments employed in this study were a demographic questionnaire, the Self-Control Schedule, the Self-Motivation Inventory, and the Commitment to Aerobic Exercise scale. In order to test the hypotheses in this study, one-way analyses of variance and a multiple discriminant function analysis were conducted. Chi-square analyses were used to assess the relationship between demographic variables and exercise group membership. Furthermore, a two-way analysis of variance (group x gender) was performed on the Self-Control Schedule, Self-Motivation Inventory, and Commitment to Exercise scale. Hypotheses were generated for the following variables: weekly time commitments, learned resourcefulness, self-motivation, and commitment to aerobic exercise. Three of these were fully supported and one was partially supported by the data. In order of their relative importance, the following three psychological variables distinguished between the three exercise groups: commitment to aerobic exercise, self-motivation, and learned resourcefulness. Among the demographic variables examined in this study, only gender discriminated significantly between the three exercise adherence groups. Males were much more likely to be non-aerobic exercise adherers than females, and females were much more likely to be non-exercisers than males. weekly time commitments, class standing, and place of residence explained little of the variance among the three groups. The analyses of this study indicated that psychological variables were the strongest discriminators among exercise adherence behavior patterns. Moreover, these findings dispute the notion that barriers, such as time commitments, prevent college students from engaging in regular, Physical exercise. Implications of these findings and strategies for enhancing exercise adherence among College students are discussed. Specifically, it appears that interventions need to emphasize affective strategies in order to modify attitudes toward regular exercise.