Reactions to lapses in exercise therapy : a self-regulatory perspective
Glazebrook, Karen Elizabeth
The self-regulation of exercise for the purposes of disease prevention and rehabilitation is a complex process that includes temporary lapses from exercise adherence. Research is lacking in the understanding of the cognitive experiences associated with lapsing and the impact of possible negative thoughts, emotions, and self-evaluations on future exercise self-regulation. Using a Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) framework, the primary purpose of the present experimental study was to examine the impact of potential negative reactions to exercise lapse experiences on exercise self-regulatory cognitions (i.e., decisional struggle, exercise self-regulatory efficacy, action planning, and willingness to self-regulate) using an experimental message designed to induce negative thoughts and affect about exercise lapsing. A secondary purpose of the study was to examine the potential moderating influences of the relatively unexplored construct of emotional self-efficacy on possible negative reactions. Forty-four adult participants were recruited from two exercise therapy programs run by the local health region to participate in this study. Participants filled out baseline measures of demographics, exercise self-regulatory efficacy (exercise SRE), and emotional self-efficacy at the first meeting. At the second meeting, participants were randomly assigned to read either an information control message or a negative lapse message. After reading the message, participants responded to affect measures and recorded their acute exercise thoughts. Next, self-regulatory cognitions were measured including decisional struggle, exercise SRE, action planning, and willingness to self-regulate. There were no significant differences between experimental groups on any of the measures, F(9, 34) = .80, Wilks’ ë = .825, p = .619. Possible explanations for these nonsignificant results are discussed. Given the opportunity to compare the present results to past research on acute positive and negative exercise thoughts by Gyurcsik and colleagues, and to potentially extend these findings to a population of exercise therapy maintainers, post hoc analysis of related research questions was carried out. Groups of positive and negative thinkers were formed based on the measure of acute thoughts. The omnibus MANOVA comparing positive and negative thinkers on social-cognitive measures was significant, F(8, 31) = 2.72, Wilks’ ë = .588, p = .021. As hypothesized, positive thinkers were found to have higher positive affect (p = .03), lower decisional struggle (p = .006), higher exercise SRE (p = .013), and higher willingness to self-regulate (p = .003). Positive thinkers also exercised more frequently than negative thinkers both at the program, F(1, 36) = 9.5, p = .004, and independently, F(1, 36) = 5.4, p = .026. Results are discussed in relation to SCT and past research on acute exercise thoughts. Limitations of the original experiment are discussed in terms of the negative lapse message. Future research is discussed both for the study of negative reactions to lapsing and for positive and negative thinking related to exercise.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentCollege of Kinesiology
ProgramCollege of Kinesiology
CommitteeGyurcsik, Nancy; Goodridge, Donna; Spink, Kevin S.