Longitudinal influences of knowledge and self-efficacy on exercise behavior: Tests of a mutual reinforcement model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The central tenet of social cognitive theory, that individuals' construal processes and behaviors mutually reinforce each other, is tested for exercise behavior. Two longitudinal data sets (year 1 to year 2 and year 1 to year 6) from the Stanford Five-City Project, a field experiment to promote cardiovascular disease prevention in California, are analyzed through structural equation modeling techniques to evaluate the effects of demographics, exercise knowledge, and exercise self-efficacy on exercise behavior. The effects of exercise behavior on subsequent knowledge and self-efficacy are also examined. In both data sets (year 1 to year 2, N = 1254 and year 1 to year 6, N = 939), education, income, age, and sex were significant predictors of exercise behavior. Self-efficacy and knowledge also predicted behavior. Prior exercise behavior predicted subsequent knowledge and self-efficacy. Prior knowledge and self-efficacy, in turn, predicted subsequent exercise behavior. Recommendations are made for enhancing the effectiveness of public health efforts designed to promote healthy behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Volume6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Self Efficacy
Exercise Test
Behavior Rating Scale
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Cardiovascular Diseases
Public Health
Demography
Education

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Health behavior change
  • Health campaigns
  • Knowledge
  • Physical activity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "The central tenet of social cognitive theory, that individuals' construal processes and behaviors mutually reinforce each other, is tested for exercise behavior. Two longitudinal data sets (year 1 to year 2 and year 1 to year 6) from the Stanford Five-City Project, a field experiment to promote cardiovascular disease prevention in California, are analyzed through structural equation modeling techniques to evaluate the effects of demographics, exercise knowledge, and exercise self-efficacy on exercise behavior. The effects of exercise behavior on subsequent knowledge and self-efficacy are also examined. In both data sets (year 1 to year 2, N = 1254 and year 1 to year 6, N = 939), education, income, age, and sex were significant predictors of exercise behavior. Self-efficacy and knowledge also predicted behavior. Prior exercise behavior predicted subsequent knowledge and self-efficacy. Prior knowledge and self-efficacy, in turn, predicted subsequent exercise behavior. Recommendations are made for enhancing the effectiveness of public health efforts designed to promote healthy behaviors.",
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