Psychosocial correlates of stages of change in physical activity in an adult community sample

Por: Catherine Lorentzen e Yngvar Ommundsen.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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To understand physical activity behaviour, and to facilitate development of effective interventions to promote physical activity, it is important to assess factors and processes believed to mediate changes in physical activity participation [1]. The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between selected psychosocial variables and physical activity stages of change [2].


Data for this cross-sectional study were collected as part of an intervention study aimed at promoting physical activity in a community sample [3]. 2460 men and women aged 31 to 67 (mean age 48 years, response rate 40% of those invited to participate or 83% of those attending the medical examinations) completed a self-administered questionnaire that assessed stages of change in physical activity and the following possible psychosocial correlates of physical activity; social support, self-efficacy, attitude, perceived personal behavioural control, intentions, expectations/probability, and identity.


Results showed that all psychosocial variables positively and significantly correlated with stages of change. Follow-up multiple regression analyses revealed that support from family, support from friends, acquaintances and co-workers, self-efficacy in face of psychological barriers, attitude, perceived personal behavioural control, intentions, expectations/probability, and identity all significantly and uniquely predicted stages of change. Altogether, these variables accounted for 53 percent of the variance. Subsequent one-way ANOVA analyses significantly differentiated most stages in terms of the level of these psychosocial variables.

Discussion / Conclusions

The study identified a strong set of psychosocial correlates of physical activity stages of change. Further research is needed in order to identify causal relations between psychosocial factors and stages of change in physical activity.


  1. Sallis J.F. & Owen N. (1999). Physical activity and behavioural medicine. London, Sage Publications.
  2. Prochaska J. & Marcus B.H. (1994). The Transtheoretical Model: applications to exercise. In: Dishman R.K., ed. Advances in exercise adherence. University of Georgia.
  3. Jenum A.K. et al. (2003). Eur J Cardiovasc Prevention Rehab, 10, 387-396.




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