APE  Vol.3 No.1 , February 2013
Basic Psychological Needs in Predicting Exercise Participation
Abstract: This study examined propositions stemming from self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), which contends that motivational consequences and positive outcomes are predicted by the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Participants completed the Psychological Need Satisfaction in Exercise (Wilson, Rogers, Rodgers, & Wild, 2006) scale and had their gym access activity monitored for six weeks. Regression analyses revealed that only competence emerged as a statistically significant predictor of exercise participation, and that this prediction was true for women only (p = .04). These findings suggest that exercise and health professionals must take care to ensure that this need is met, particularly in their female clients who may be impacted by traditional gender roles in sport contexts.
Cite this paper: Martinez, J. , Oberle, C. & Nagurney, A. (2013). Basic Psychological Needs in Predicting Exercise Participation. Advances in Physical Education, 3, 20-27. doi: 10.4236/ape.2013.31004.

[1]   Adie, J., Duda, J., & Ntoumanis, N. (2008). Autonomy support, basic need satisfaction and the optimal functioning of adult male and female sport participants: A test of basic needs theory. Motivation and Emotion, 4, 189-199. doi:10.1007/s11031-008-9095-z

[2]   Allied Dunbar National Fitness Survey (1992). Summary report. Activity and health research. London: Sports Council and Health Education Authority.

[3]   Biddle, J. H., & Mutrie, N. (2001). Psychology of physical activity: Determinants, well-being and interventions. London: Routledge.

[4]   Biddle, S. J. H., Soos, I., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. (1999). Predicting physical activity intentions using goal perspectives and self-determination theory approaches. European Psychologist, 4, 83-89.

[5]   Chatzisarantis, N., Hagger, M. S., Biddle, S., Smith, B., & Wang, J. (2003). A meta-analysis of perceived locus of causality in exercise, sport, and physical education contexts. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 25, 284-306.

[6]   Crocker, P. R., Eklund, R. C., & Kowalski, K. C. (2000). Children’s physical activity and physical self-perceptions. Journal of Sport Sciences, 18, 383-394. doi:10.1080/02640410050074313

[7]   Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press.

[8]   Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.

[9]   Edmunds, J. K., Ntoumanis, N., & Duda, J. L. (2006). A test of selfdetermination theory in the exercise domain. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36, 2240-2265. doi:10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00102.x

[10]   Edmunds, J. K., Ntoumanis, N., & Duda, J. L. (2007). Perceived autonomy support and psychological need satisfaction as key psychological constructs in the exercise domain. In M. Hagger, & N. L. D. Chatzisarantis (Eds.), Self-determination in exercise and sport (pp. 35-51). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[11]   Edmunds, J. K., Ntoumanis, N., & Duda, J. L. (2008). Testing a self-determination theory based teaching style in the exercise domain. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 375-388. doi:10.1002/ejsp.463

[12]   Frederick, C. M., & Ryan, R. M. (1993). Differences in motivation for sport and exercise and their relationships with participation and mental health. Journal of Sport Behavior, 16, 125-145.

[13]   Gagne, M., Ryan, R. M., & Bargmann, K. (2003). The effects of parent and coach autonomy support on need satisfaction and well-being of gymnasts. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15, 372-390. doi:10.1080/714044203

[14]   Guh, D. P., Zhang, W., Bansback, N., Amarsi, Z., Birmingham, C. L., & Anis, A. H. (2009). The incidence of co-morbidities related to obesity and overweight: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 9, 88. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-88

[15]   Hagger, M. S., Biddle, S. J. H., & Wang, C. K. (2005). Physical selfconcept in adolescence: Generalizability of a multidimensional, hierarchical model across gender and grade. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 65, 297-322. doi:10.1177/0013164404272484

[16]   Hagger, M. S., & Chatzisarantis, N. L. (2007). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in exercise and sport. Champaigne, IL: Human Kinetics.

[17]   Hagger, M. S., Chatzisarantis, N. L. D., & Harris, J. (2006). From psychological need satisfaction to intentional behavior: Testing a motivational sequence in two behavioral contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 131-138. doi:10.1177/0146167205279905

[18]   Hayes, S. D., Crocker, P. R. E., & Kowalski, K. C. (1999). Gender differences in physical self-perception, global self esteem and physical activity: Evaluation of the physical self-perception profile model. Journal of Sport Behavior, 22, 1-14.

[19]   Koka, A., & Hein, V. (2005). The effect of perceived teacher feedback on intrinsic motivation in physical education. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 36, 91-106.

[20]   Kowal, J., & Fortier, M. S. (2000). Testing relationships from the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation using flow as a motivational consequence. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 71, 171-181.

[21]   Kowalski, N. P., Crocker, P., & Kowalski, K. C. (2001). Physical self and physical activity relationships in college women: Does social physique anxiety moderate effects? Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 72, 55-62.

[22]   Kumanyika, S. K., Obarzanek, E., Stettler, N., Bell, R., Field, A. E., Fortmann, S. P., & Hong, Y. (2008). Population-based prevention of obesity: The need for comprehensive promotion of healthful eating, physical activity, and energy balance. Circulation, 118, 428-464. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.189702

[23]   National Center for Health Statistics (2009). Summary health statistics for US adults: National health interview survey.

[24]   Pelletier, L. G., Fortier, M. S., Vallerand, R. J., & Brière, N. M. (2001). Associations among perceived autonomy support, forms of self-regulation, and persistence: A prospective study. Motivation and Emotion, 25, 279-306. doi:10.1023/A:1014805132406

[25]   Raudsepp, L., Viira, R., & Liblik, R. (2004). Stability of physical selfperceptions of adolescents with different levels of physical activity. Journal of Human Movement Studies, 47, 143-153.

[26]   Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The darker and bright sides of human existence: Basic psychological needs as a unifying concept. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 319-338. doi:10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_03

[27]   Ryan, R. M., Frederick, C. M., Lepes, D., Rubio, N., & Sheldon, K. M. (1997). Intrinsic motivation and exercise adherence. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 28, 335-354.

[28]   Ryan, R. M., Williams, G. C., Patrick, H., & Deci, E. L. (2009). Selfdetermination theory and physical activity: The dynamics of motivation in development and wellness. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 6, 107-124.

[29]   Sallis, J. F., & Hovell, M. (1990). Determinants of exercise behavior. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 18, 307-330. doi:10.1249/00003677-199001000-00014

[30]   Sallis, J. F., Hovell, M. F., Hofstetter, C. R., Faucher, P., Elder, J. P., Blanchard, J., et al. (1989). A multivariate study of determinants of vigorous exercise in a community sample. Preventive Medicine, 18, 20-34. doi:10.1016/0091-7435(89)90051-0

[31]   Salmon, J., Owen, N., Crawford, D., Bauman, A., & Sallies, J. F. (2003). Physical activity and sedentary behavior: A population-based study of barriers, enjoyment, and preference. Health Psychology, 22, 178-188. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.22.2.178

[32]   Standage, M., Duda, J. L., & Pensgaard, A. M. (2005). The effect of competitive outcome and task-involving, ego-involving, and cooperative structures on the psychological well-being of individuals engaged in a co-ordination task: A self-determination approach. Motivation and Emotion, 29, 41-68. doi:10.1007/s11031-005-4415-z

[33]   Standage, M., Sebire, S. J., & Loney, T. (2008). Does exercise motivation predict engagement in objectively assessed bouts of moderate-intensity exercise behavior? A self-determination theory perspective. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 30, 337-352.

[34]   Thogersen-Ntoumani, C., & Ntoumanis, N. (2006). The role of selfdetermined motivation in the understanding of exercise-related behaviours, cognitions and physical self-evaluations. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24, 393-404. doi:10.1080/02640410500131670

[35]   US Department of Health and Human Services (2002). Physical activity fundamental to preventing disease.

[36]   Vallerand, R. J. (2001). A hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in sport and exercise. In G. C. Roberts (Ed.), Advances in motivation in sport and exercise (pp. 263-319). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[37]   Vansteenkiste, M., Simons, J., Lens, W., Sheldon, K. M., & Deci, E. L. (2004). Motivating persistence, deep level learning and achievement: The synergistic role of intrinsic-goal content autonomy-supportive context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 246-260. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.246

[38]   Vierling, K. K., Standage, M., & Treasure, D. C. (2007). Predicting physical activity and attitudes toward physical activity in an “at-risk” youth sample: A test of self-determination theory. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 795-781. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2006.12.006

[39]   Vlachopoulos, S. P., & Karavani, E. (2009). Psychological needs and subjective vitality in exercise: A cross-gender situational test of the needs universality hypothesis. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 6, 207-222.

[40]   Vlachopoulos, S. P., & Michailidou, S. (2006). Development and initial validation of a measure of autonomy, competence, and relatedness in exercise: The Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Sciences, 10, 179-201. doi:10.1207/s15327841mpee1003_4

[41]   Wilson, P. M., Mack, D. E., Blanchard, C. M., & Gray, C. E. (2009). The role of perceived psychological need satisfaction in exercise-related affect. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 6, 183-206.

[42]   Wilson, P. M., Mack, D. E., Gunnell, K., Oster, K., & Gregson, J. P. (2008). Analyzing the measurement of psychological need satisfaction in exercise contexts: Evidence, issues, and future directions. In M. P. Simmons (Ed.), Sport and exercise psychology research advances (pp. 361-391). Hauppauge: Nova Science Publishers.

[43]   Wilson, P. M., & Rodgers, W. M. (2003). The relationship between psychological needs, self-determined motivation, exercise attitudes, and physical fitness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 2373- 2392. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01890.x

[44]   Wilson, P. M., Rodgers, W. M., & Fraser, S. N. (2002). Examining the psychometric properties of the behavioral regulation in exercise questionnaire. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 6, 1-21. doi:10.1207/S15327841MPEE0601_1

[45]   Wilson, P. M., & Rogers, W. T. (2008). Examining relationships between perceived psychological need satisfaction and behavioural regulations in exercise. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 13, 119-142. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9861.2008.00031.x

[46]   Wilson, P. M., Rogers, W. T., Rodgers, W. M., & Wild, T. C. (2006). The psychological need satisfaction in exercise scale. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 28, 231-251.