Understanding health-related physical activity : attributions, self-efficacy, and intention
Nickel, Darren Mark
Although physical activity above a certain threshold has been associated with numerous health benefits (Warburton, Nicol, & Bredin, 2006), most Canadians are not active enough to realize these benefits (Craig, Russell, Cameron, & Bauman, 2004). In order to examine individuals’ own explanations of their health-related physical activity behaviour in terms of attributions, four studies testing elements of Weiner’s (1986) attribution theory and Bandura’s (1997) self-efficacy theory were conducted with a university sample. The results from the first study revealed that perceived outcome differentiated attributional explanations while objective outcome did not. Results also revealed that although predicted relationships concerning attribution-dependent emotions were largely unsupported, emotions were associated with outcomes. Further, results suggested that those making stable attributions reported more certainty of similar future outcomes than those making unstable attributions. Results in the second study suggested that attributional dimensions significantly improved the prediction of self-regulatory efficacy beyond that predicted by past success/failure to be active enough for health benefits alone. Stability appeared to be the most important attributional dimension in predicting self-efficacy. Results in the third study suggested self-regulatory efficacy significantly improved the prediction of future intention beyond that of past success/failure to be active enough for health benefits alone. The results from the fourth study supported the plausibility of self-regulatory efficacy partially mediating the relationship between stability of attributions for typical levels of exercise and intention to maintain those levels during a forthcoming final exam period for both moderate- and mild-intensity exercise. Results are discussed in the contexts of testing attribution theory and self-efficacy theory and improving understandings of physical activity behaviour.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentCollege of Kinesiology
ProgramCollege of Kinesiology
SupervisorSpink, Kevin S.
CommitteeRodgers, Wendy; Gyurcsik, Nancy; Brawley, Lawrence; Wright, Karen