Date of Graduation
Research suggests that physical activity is positively associated with mental and physical health outcomes for adults of all ages. However, despite concerted effort to increase the activity levels of adults, the rates of adults who engage in regular physical activity remain low. The present study had two primary objectives: (a) to examine dyadically the role of self-efficacy and spousal self-efficacy in the amount of physical activity in which middle-aged and older adults engage, and (b) to test the full social cognitive theory in terms of how well it explains the variance in physical activity in a sample of middle-aged and older adult married couples. Data from 116 married couples between the ages of 50 and 75 were collected via mail-out surveys. With regard to the first objective, results indicated that self-efficacy was related to physical activity for husbands and wives, but that partner self-efficacy was not. To further examine spousal influences on physical activity, post-hoc analyses examined the role of perceived support. This model indicated that self-efficacy was again related to physical activity in husbands and wives. In addition, womenâ€™s self-efficacy was related to the physical activity of their husbands through husbandsâ€™ reported perceived support, whereas husbandsâ€™ self-efficacy was directly related to the physical activity of their wives. Findings from the second research objective indicated that the factors in the social cognitive model accounted for a substantial amount of the variance in physical activity (R2 = .61). Specifically, the final results indicated a three-stage model in which self-efficacy was directly and indirectly related to physical activity. The indirect association between self-efficacy and physical activity was through outcome expectancies and perceived barriers, which were then related to self-regulatory behavior, which was, in turn, related to physical activity. Findings from this study can be applied to the design of physical activity interventions. Specifically, the results suggest that the social cognitive theory can be used as a theoretical framework for interventions, and that interventions should consider spousal characteristics in order to maximize the success of physical activity interventions.
Ayotte, Brian J., "Using the social cognitive theory to investigate physical activity in middle-aged and older married couples: A dyadic perspective." (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8429.