Self-efficacy and affective responses to acute exercise in middle-aged adults

Shannon L. Mihalko, Edward McAuley, Susan M. Bane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This investigation examined the effects of an acute bout of exercise on the relationship between self-efficacy and affective responses. Middle-aged subjects (N = 94) engaged in a graded exercise test after completing a 20-week aerobic exercise program. Self-efficacy significantly increased pre- to post-testing as did perceptions of positive well-being and fatigue. Feelings of psychological distress decreased. To determine whether the demonstrated changes in efficacy cognitions mediated the changes in affective responses, hierarchical regression analyses, using residualized scores for efficacy and affect, were conducted. Changes in self-efficacy were not related to changes in psychological distress or perceptions of fatigue. However, efficacy changes over the course of the exercise bout did account for significant variation (R2 = .13, p < .005) in changes in positive well-being. These findings offer some support for a social cognitive interpretation of how psychological responses to acute exercise may be generated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Behavior and Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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