Factors Related to Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines in College Students: a Social Cognitive Perspective

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Engaging in regular physical activity is important for maintaining and improving health. Unfortunately, most college students fail to meet the recommendations for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines (PAGs). Psychosocial factors described within the social cognitive theory are related to the acquisition and retention of physical activity behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of gender, self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and social support with college students meeting aerobic, muscle-strengthening and both PAGs. Participants (N = 396) completed online questionnaires assessing their physical activity behaviors, exercise self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and social support. Self-reported physical activity was classified ... continued below

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Farren, Gene L. May 2014.

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  • Farren, Gene L.

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Engaging in regular physical activity is important for maintaining and improving health. Unfortunately, most college students fail to meet the recommendations for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines (PAGs). Psychosocial factors described within the social cognitive theory are related to the acquisition and retention of physical activity behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of gender, self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and social support with college students meeting aerobic, muscle-strengthening and both PAGs. Participants (N = 396) completed online questionnaires assessing their physical activity behaviors, exercise self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and social support. Self-reported physical activity was classified as meeting / not meeting PAGs. Using gender, exercise self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, and social support as predictors, separate logistic regressions were used to examine their relations with the three PAG classifications. Analyses revealed that being male and level of social support increased the odds of meeting muscle-strengthening PAGs, but students’ level of self-efficacy and outcome expectations increased the odds of meeting all three PAG classifications. These findings indicate that interventions designed to increase self-efficacy and outcome expectancy may be beneficial for increasing college students’ physical activity for meeting the PAGs. Promotion of muscle-strengthening activities targeted at young women is also warranted.

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  • May 2014

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  • March 8, 2015, 5:44 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 2:33 p.m.

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Farren, Gene L. Factors Related to Meeting Physical Activity Guidelines in College Students: a Social Cognitive Perspective, thesis, May 2014; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500163/: accessed January 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .