Social cognitive influences on physical activity behavior in middle-aged and older adults.
Journal: J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date: 2012 Jan
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): CPFP
PubMed ID: 21743038
PMC ID: PMC3410683
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the current study was to prospectively test the utility of a social cognitive theory (SCT) model of physical activity behavior over an 18-month period in middle-aged and older adults (N = 321; M age = 63.8 years). METHODS: Participants completed measures of self-efficacy, disability limitations, goals, outcome expectations, and physical activity at baseline and follow-up. Self-efficacy was hypothesized to influence physical activity both directly and indirectly through goals and outcome expectations. Relationships were examined using panel analysis within a covariance modeling framework. RESULTS: The model provided an excellent fit to the data (χ(2) = 36.16, df = 30, p = .20; comparative fit index = 1.00; root mean square error of approximation = .03). At baseline, self-efficacy was directly related to outcome expectations, disability limitations, goals, and physical activity and indirectly related to physical activity through physical outcome expectations. Changes in self-efficacy were significantly related to residual changes in outcome expectations, disability limitations, goals, and physical activity and indirectly related to residual changes in physical activity through changes in physical and social outcome expectations. DISCUSSION: These results provide further support for the use of SCT to physical activity behavior in middle-aged and older adults. Self-efficacy influenced physical activity both directly and indirectly via outcome expectations, suggesting that these variables should be targeted in physical activity interventions for middle-aged and older adults.