Social cognitive influences on physical activity behavior in middle-aged and older adults

Siobhan M. White*, Thomas R. Wójcicki, Edward McAuley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives.The purpose of the current study was to prospectively test the utility of a social cognitive theory (SCT) model of physical activity behavior over an 18-month period in middle-aged and older adults (N = 321; M age = 63.8 years).Methods.Participants completed measures of self-efficacy, disability limitations, goals, outcome expectations, and physical activity at baseline and follow-up. Self-efficacy was hypothesized to influence physical activity both directly and indirectly through goals and outcome expectations. Relationships were examined using panel analysis within a covariance modeling framework.Results.The model provided an excellent fit to the data (χ2 = 36.16, df = 30, p =. 20; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation =. 03). At baseline, self-efficacy was directly related to outcome expectations, disability limitations, goals, and physical activity and indirectly related to physical activity through physical outcome expectations. Changes in self-efficacy were significantly related to residual changes in outcome expectations, disability limitations, goals, and physical activity and indirectly related to residual changes in physical activity through changes in physical and social outcome expectations.Discussion. These results provide further support for the use of SCT to physical activity behavior in middle-aged and older adults. Self-efficacy influenced physical activity both directly and indirectly via outcome expectations, suggesting that these variables should be targeted in physical activity interventions for middle-aged and older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume67 B
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Keywords

  • Middle aged
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity
  • Social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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