Understanding intentions to exercise following a structured exercise program: An attributional perspective

Kerry S. Courneya, Edward McAuley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the relationships among perceived outcome, causal attributions, affect, expected success, and intentions to exercise following a structured exercise program. Participants were 105 volunteers who had just completed a 12-week exercise program. Results indicated that perceived outcome over objective outcome (% attendance) was significantly more important for understanding the attribution process. Interesting interactions indicated that (a) individuals who made personally controllable attributions reported higher positive affect following perceived success, but lower positive affect following perceived failure than those who made personally uncontrollable attributions, and (b) individuals who made external attributions following perceived failure reported higher expected success than those who made internal attributions. Finally, both positive affect and expected success showed positive relationships with intention to exercise following the program. It was suggested that attribution theory may be beneficial to understanding continued exercise following structured exercise programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-685
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 16 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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