Date of Graduation
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
Athletic Coaching Education
Background: Research suggests there is a decline in physical activity (PA) as individuals enter adulthood (Sallis, 2000). Physical activity behaviors that students develop during college years are said to have a long-term impact on adult habits (Keating, Guan, Pinero, & Bridges, 2005). Leslie, Sparling, and Owen (2001) suggest that college campuses are central settings with unseen opportunities to influence young adults' PA patterns. Higher education PA programs can be a mechanism to introduce adults to healthy lifestyles that include PA (Hardin, Andrew, Koo, & Bemiller, 2009).;Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of choice in a conceptually-based college health and wellness course on exercise motivation and PA of undergraduate students.;Method: This study employed a mixed method design. Quantitative data from the Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2) and the Leisure Time in Exercise Questionnaire (LTEQ) were collected over three time points. Participants (N=81) experienced instruction that was either autonomously supportive (choice) or controlling (non-choice) in an effort to determine the impact of these approaches on improving levels of PA and motivation. Qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with course instructors (N=4) and open-ended questions were also collected.;Results: There was a significant increase in intrinsic regulation F(2, 158) = 10.13, p = .00, etap 2 =.114; identified regulation F(2, 158) = 7.35, p = .001, etap2 = .085; introjected regulation F(2, 158) = 6.61, p = .002, etap 2 = .077; and PA F(2, 158) = 5.63, p = .004, = .067 over time. No significant group differences were found.;Conclusion: While there was no significant difference between instruction type, instructors and participants suggested that choice was the preferred method for adult learners; however, individuals may need initial support with gradual increase in autonomy. Future research is warranted to investigate how increasing autonomy through choice can lead to higher autonomous motivation.
Tracy, Julia Fera, "The Impact of Choice: Exercise Motivation and Physical Activity in College Students Enrolled in Fitness for Life" (2015). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 6825.