Relationship of Self-regulation, Exercise Self-efficacy, and Self-compassion with Commitment to Physical Activity in College Students
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The physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits of exercise and physical activity have been well established. Still, there are high levels of inactivity frequently found among college students. Most people are able to begin an exercise or physical activity regimen; however, maintaining the behavior appears to be problematic. While there can potentially be certain physical barriers, it is the psychological barriers that seem to be significantly hindering college-aged people committing to exercise. Research related to Social Cognitive Theory has indicated that an individual�s level of self-efficacy and self-regulation may impact their ability to persist with a task or maintain certain behaviors. Emerging research also suggests that self-compassion may increase self-improvement motivation and provide an alternative view of self to protect against the self-evaluative components of self-regulation and self-efficacy. 338 college undergraduate and graduate students completed a series of on-line self-report questionnaires to explore psychological variables (e.g., task, coping, and scheduling self-efficacy, self-regulation, and six elements of self-compassion) and the impact that they have on an individual�s commitment to physical activity as well as their current physical activity behaviors. Results indicate that self-compassion, self-efficacy, and self-regulation are all positively related to physical activity commitment. Self-compassion was not found to account for a significant amount of variance in commitment to physical activity beyond the variance accounted for self-efficacy and self-regulation. Self-regulation, coping and scheduling self-efficacy, and commitment all predicted physical activity behavior among the participant sample. Implications and directions for future research are also discussed.
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