Long-term maintenance of exercise, self-efficacy, and physiological change in older adults

E. McAuley, C. Lox, T. E. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study documents the maintenance of exercise participation, self-efficacy, and physiological change in older adults at 9-month follow-up to a 5-month structured exercise program. Males and females (mean age = 54 years) completed graded exercise testing, body composition, and physical performance testing at the end of and 9 months after cessation of an exercise program. Self-efficacy assessments were also conducted prior to and following each graded exercise test and in the last week of the program. Results indicated that whereas some general reductions in physiological conditioning occurred, significant declines in physical performance and self-efficacy measures were evidenced at follow-up. However, exposure to the acute bout of physical testing increased the efficacy expectations to the point were they were no longer significantly different from postexercise program levels. Moreover, exercise self-efficacy was the only variable to significantly predict adherence to exercise during follow-up. However, previous attendance in the program, aerobic capacity, and self-efficacy all significantly discriminated between compliers and noncompliers to exercise prescription. Results are discussed with respect to the role played by acute exercise bouts in enhancing perceptions of personal efficacy in older adults and the utility of self-efficacy as a predictor of exercise behavior at various stages of the exercise process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P218-P224
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging


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