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EXCUSERCISE: DIFFERENTIATING THE RELAPSE STAGE OF EXERCISE

BEHAVIOR CHANGE IN TERMS OF PERCEIVED BARRIERS,

SELF-EFFICACY, AND MOTIVES VIA AN

INTERNET BASED DATA COLLECTION

by Bruce Cohen

Doctor of Philosophy

Temple University, August, 2003

Major Advisor:  Dr.  Michael Sachs

 

          The purpose of this study was to define the exercise relapse stage of behavior change in terms of excuses or perceived barriers, self-efficacy, decisional balance, and motives.  Nine hundred and thirty-one participants from a sample of convenience responded to a 68-question Internet survey.  Participants had a mean age of 37.4 (SD ± 12.9) years.  Caucasians comprised 88.2% of respondents.  Women comprised 62.4% of the sample.  Fifty-three percent of respondents were married.  Approximately 60% of respondents had no children.  Participants tended to be highly educated.

Ninety-two participants were categorized into the relapse stage based on the ACSM definition of “regular exercise,” the five stages of exercise change (Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance) and the following Relapse stage of change definition:  I was exercising regularly at times over the past 12 months.”  “I am not currently exercising regularly.”  “I intend to resume exercising regularly in the future.”  The length of lapse from exercise averaged 4.03 months (SD ± 3.24 months) and occurred an average of 2.17 times (SD ± 1.36 times) during the past year. 

A global score was calculated for barriers and self-efficacy.  Then a 6 (Stages) by 4 (exercise decisional balance [Pros and Cons], self-efficacy, barriers, and motives) multiple analyses of variance (MANOVA) was calculated.  Dunnett post-hoc tests were used to follow-up significant univariate effects.  A similar MANOVA was calculated for exercise motivations.

     Relapsers are closer to those individuals in the Preparation and Action stages of change in terms of self-efficacy, motives and barriers, rather than in the Contemplation stage of change.  Self-efficacy is the determinant that best differentiates Relapsers from other stages, particularly Maintainers.  Increasing the use of behavioral processes along with the number of intrinsic motives (particularly enjoyment) for participation in exercise while simultaneously decreasing the number of personal mood affect and injury barriers may result in increased self-efficacy, reduced length of relapse, and better adherence to regular exercise.

 

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