PSYCH  Vol.4 No.12 , December 2013
Psychological Factors Influencing Exercise Adherence among Females

Social pressures focusing on health and physical attractiveness have been used to promote exercise among women (Prichard & Tiggemann, 2008). However, research has shown that motives driven by external sources result in decreased exercise participation (Deci & Ryan, 1985). The current study examined differences in motivation, self-efficacy, and mood between 64 exercise adherent and non-adherent women over four weeks. Women who were non-adherent to their exercise goals were more likely to report external motives, specifically body and health related motives. At the initial measurement, adherents reported significantly lower self-efficacy, positive affect, and life satisfaction compared to non-adherents. However, after the four weeks, adherents’ self-reports indicated a significant increase in these variables compared to no change in non-adherents’ self-reports.

Cite this paper
Kohlstedt, S. , Weissbrod, C. , Colangelo, A. & Carter, M. (2013). Psychological Factors Influencing Exercise Adherence among Females. Psychology, 4, 917-923. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.412132.
[1]   Alfermann, D., & Stoll, O. (2000). Effects of physical exercise on self-concept and well-being. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 47-65.

[2]   Anderson, C. B. (2003). When more is better: Number of motives and reasons for quitting as correlates of physical activity in women. Health Education Research, 18, 525-537.

[3]   Annesi, J. J., & Wescott, W. L. (2005). Age as a moderator of relations of physical self-concept and mood changes associated with 10 weeks of programmed exercise in women. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 101, 840-844.

[4]   Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

[5]   Berman, E., Kerr, G., & De Souza, M. J. (2005). A qualitative examination of weight concerns, eating, and exercise behaviors in recreational exercisers. Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal, 14, 24-38.

[6]   Blaine, B., & McElory, J. (2002). Selling stereotypes: Weight loss infomercials, sexism, and weightism. Sex Roles, 46, 351-357.

[7]   Cash, T. F., Novy, P. L., & Grant, J. R. (1994). Why do women exercise? Factor analysis and further validation of The Reasons for Exercise Inventory. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 539-544.

[8]   Centers for Disease Control (2008). Physical Activity for Everyone.

[9]   Cox, K. L., Gorely, T. J., Puddey, I. B., Burke, V., & Beilin, L. J. (2003). Exercise behavior change in 40 to 65-year-old women: The SWEAT study. British Journal of Health Psychology, 8, 477-495.

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

[11]   Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49, 71-75.

[12]   Dishman, R. K. (1990). Determinants of participation in physical activity. In C. Bouchard, R. Shephard, T. Stephens, J. Sutton, & B. McPherson (Eds.), Exercise, fitness, and health (pp. 75-102). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

[13]   Edmunds, J., Ntoumanis, N., & Duda, J. L. (2007). Adherence and well-being in overweight and obese patients referred to an exercise on prescription scheme: A self-determination theory perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 722-740.

[14]   Finkenberg, M. E., DiNucci, J. M., McCune, S. L., & McCune, E. D. (1994). Analysis of course type, gender, and personal incentives to exercise. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 155-159.

[15]   Frederick, C. M., & Morrison, C. S. (1996). Social physique anxiety: Personality constructs, motivations, exercise attitudes and behaviors. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 82, 963-972.

[16]   Frederick, C. M., Morrison, C., & Manning, T. (1996). Motivation to participate, exercise affect, and outcome behaviors towards physical activity. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 82, 691-701.

[17]   Gill, K., & Overdorf, V. (1994). Incentives for exercise in younger and older women. Journal of Sport Behavior, 17, 87-97.

[18]   Grembowski, D., Patrick, D., Diehr, P., Durham, M., Ber-Esford, S., Kay, E., et al. (1993). Self-efficacy and health behavior among older adults. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 34, 89-104.

[19]   Izquierdo-Porrera, A. M., Powell, C. C., Reiner, J., & Fontaine, K. R. (2002). Correlates of exercise adherence in an African American church community. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 8, 389-394.

[20]   Kelsey, K. S., DeVellis, B. M., Begum, M., Belton, L., & Hooten, E. G. (2006). Positive affect, exercise and self-reported health in blue-collar women. American Journal of Health Behavior, 30, 199-207.

[21]   Kilpatrick, M., Hebert, E., & Bartholomew, J. (2005). College students’ motivation for physical activity: Differentiating men’s and women’s motives for sport participation and exercise. Journal of American College Health, 54, 87-94.

[22]   Kjelsas, E., & Augestad, L. B. (2003). Gender differences in competitive runners and their motive for physical activity. The European Journal of Psychiatry, 17, 157-171.

[23]   Macdonald, A., & Palfai, R. (2008). Predictors of exercise behavior among university student women: Utility of a goal-systems/selfregulation theory framework. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 921-931.

[24]   Marcus, B. H., Selby, V. C., Niaura, R. S., & Rossi, J. S. (1992). Selfefficacy and the stages of exercise behavior change. Research Quarterly of Exercise and Sport, 63, 60-66.

[25]   Markland, D., & Ingledew, D. K. (2007). The relationship between body mass and body image and relative autonomy for exercise among adolescent males and females. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 836-853.

[26]   Markland, D., & Ingledew, D. K. (1997). The measurement of exercise motives: factorial validity and invariance across gender of a revised Exercise Motivations Inventory. British Journal of Health Psychology, 2, 361-376.

[27]   Matsouka, O., Kabitsis, C., Harahousou, Y., & Trigonis, I. (2005). Mood alterations following an indoor and outdoor exercise program in healthy elderly women. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 100, 707-715.

[28]   McAuley, E., Lox, C., & Duncan, T. E. (1993). Long-term maintenance of exercise, self-efficacy, and physiological change in older adults. Journal of Gerontology, 48, 218-224.

[29]   McAuley, E., Bane, S. M., & Mihalko, S. L. (1995). Exercise in middle-aged adults: self-efficacy and self-presentational outcomes. Preventive Medicine, 24, 319-328.

[30]   McAuley, E., Blissmer, B., Marquez, D. X., Jerome, G. J., Kramer, A. F., & Katula, J. (2000). Social relations, physical activity, and wellbeing in older adults. Preventive Medicine, 31, 608-617.

[31]   Prichard, I., & Tiggemann, M. (2008). Relations among exercise type, self-objectification, and body image in the fitness centre environment: The role of reasons for exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9, 855-866.

[32]   Rocheleau, C. A., Webster, G. D., Bryan, A., & Frazier, J. (2004). Moderators of the relationship between exercise and mood changes: Gender, exertion level, and workout duration. Psychology & Health, 19, 491-506.

[33]   Rodgers, W. M., & Gauvin, L. (1998). Heterogeneity of incentives for physical activity and self-efficacy in highly active and moderately active women exercisers. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28, 1016-1029.

[34]   Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

[35]   Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social devel-opment, and wellbeing. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

[36]   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.

[37]   Sallis, J. F., Hovell, M. F., & Hofstetter, C. R. (1992). Predictors of adoption and maintenance of vigorous physical activity in men and women. Preventive Medicine, 21, 237-251.

[38]   Scharff, D. P., Homan, S., Kreuter, M., & Brennan, L. (1999). Factors associated with physical activity in women across the life span: Implications for program development. Women and Health, 29, 115-134.

[39]   Schuler, P. B., Broxon-Hutcherson, A., Philipp, S. F., Ryan, S., Isosaari, R. M., & Robinson, D. (2004). Body-shape perceptions in older adults and motivations for exercise. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 98, 1251-1260.

[40]   Segar, M. L., Eccles, J. S., & Richardson, C. R. (2008). Type of physiccal activity goal influences participation in healthy midlife women. Women’s Health Issues, 18, 281-291.

[41]   Segar, M., Spruijt-Metz, D., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2006). Go figure? Body-shape motives are associated with de creased physical activity participation among midlife women. Sex Roles, 54, 175-187.

[42]   Schwarzer, R., & Renner, B. (2005). Health-specific self-efficacy scales. 7-10.

[43]   Silva, M. N., Markland, D., Vieira, P. N., Coutinho, S. R., Caraca, E. V., Palmeria, A. L. et al. (2010). Helping overweight women become more active: Need support and motivational regulations for different forms of physical activity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 591601.

[44]   Silva, M. N., Vieira, P. N., Coutinho, S. R., Minderico, C. S., Matos, M. G., Sardinha, L. B., & Teixeira, P. J. (2010). Using self-determination theory to promote physical activity and weight control: A randomized controlled trial in women. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 33, 110-122.

[45]   Simonavice, E. M., & Wiggins, M. S. (2008). Exercise barriers, self-efficacy, and stages of change. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 107, 946-950.

[46]   Stephen, Y., Boiche, J., & Scanff, C. L. (2010). Motivation and physical activity behaviors among older women: A self-determination perspective. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 339-348.

[47]   Strelan, P., Mehaffey, S. J., & Tiggemann, M. (2003). Self-objectification and esteem in young women: The mediating role of reasons for exercise. Sex Roles, 48, 89-95.

[48]   Teixeira, P. J., Going, S. B., Houtkooper, L. B., Cussler, E. C., Metcalfe, L. L., Blew, R. M., Sardinha, L. B., & Lohman, T. G. (2006). Exercise motivation, eating, and body image variables as predictors of weight control. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38, 179-188.

[49]   Tiggemann, M., & Williamson, S. (2000). The effect of exercise on body satisfaction and self esteem as a function of gender and age. Sex Roles, 43, 119-127.

[50]   Wankel, L. M. (1993). The importance of enjoyment to adherence and psychological benefits from physical activity. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 24, 151-169.

[51]   Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070.

[52]   Wilcox, S., & Storandt, M. (1996). Relations among age, exercise, and psychological variables in a community sample of women. Health Psychology, 15, 110-113.

[53]   Wilson, P. M., & Rodgers, W. M. (2004). The relationship between perceived autonomy support, exercise regulations, and behavioral intentions in women. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 5, 229-242.

[54]   Young, D. R., Gittelsohn, J., Charleston, J., Felx-Aaron, K., & Appel, L. J. (2001). Motivations for exercise and weight loss among African-American women: Focus group results and their contribution towards program development. Ethnicity & Health, 6, 227-245.