Self-efficacy and exercise participation in sedentary adult females

E. McAuley, L. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. This study examined the importance of selected psychosocial and biometric variables in the prediction of exercise behavior in sedentary adult females. Specifically, the relationships among exercise behavior and instructor influence, self-efficacy cognitions, self-motivation, and body composition and their ability to predict exercise participation were evaluated. Methods. Fifty-eight females volunteered to participate in an eight-week aerobic exercise program. Biometric and psychosocial variables were assessed prior to and following the program. Attendance data and activity logs provided participation data. Subjects were also contacted three months after program termination to assess their activity patterns at that time. Results. Multivariate analyses of variance indicated that subjects categorized as high or low in either program or overall exercise participation differed significantly on body weight, efficacy cognitions, and post-program perceptions. Multiple regression analyses indicated that instructor influence (R2 = .116) and self-efficacy cognitions (R2 = .093) contributed to the variance in subjects' program attendance. However, only self-efficacy was a significant predictor of overall exercise levels (R2 = .125). Correlational analyses revealed a modest but significant difference between self-efficacy and regularity of exercise (r = .28) and duration of activity (r = .32) at follow-up. Discussion. The findings are discussed in relation to the role that efficacy might play in exercise behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191+207
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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