Relationship of physical activity motivational factors among physically inactive with physical disabilities

Por: Bradley Cardinal, Jeffrey Mccubbin e Maria Kosma.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Physical activity (PA) promotion is a public health priority [1]. However, only 12% of the adult population with physical disabilities participates regularly in leisure-time PA [1]. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) has been recommended as a means to facilitate PA motivation among people with disabilities [2]. According to the TTM, positive PA behavior change can occur within a stage pattern starting from the early (i.e., inactive) stages and moving to the later (i.e., active) stages. Stage movement can be associated with self-efficacy (i.e., perceived confidence), processes of change (e.g., goal setting), and decisional balance (i.e., perceived PA pros and cons). So far, only one study has explored the application of the full TTM among active people with physical disabilities [3]. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the manner in which the 3 constructs of the TTM (i.e., self-efficacy, processes of change, and decisional balance) are related to the stages of PA change (4th construct of the TTM) among mainly inactive adults with physical disabilities.


The participants of this nationwide (in the U.S.A) survey were 151 mainly inactive adults (M age = 37.9, SD = 8.8; males = 34, females = 117) with physical disabilities. Self-report standardized questionnaires were used to measure the constructs of the TTM and a one-way MANOVA was conducted to examine the general trend of the constructs.


The one-way MANOVA revealed a statistically significant (F (16, 437) = 5.4; p < .001) relationship between the stages of change (i.e., independent variable) and the rest of the TTM constructs (i.e., dependent variables). The general trend of the scores for the dependent variables illustrates an increase from the lower to the higher stages. Hierarchically, most of the variance was explained by the behavioral processes (η2 = .32), cognitive processes (η2 = .24), self-efficacy (η2 = .16), and decisional balance (η2 = .07).


This is the first nationwide study that explored the relationship between psychosocial constructs of PA behavior change among inactive adults with physical disabilities. The study results support the importance of both behavioral and cognitive processes to the early (i.e., inactive) stages of change [4]. A study limitation reflects the cross-sectional project design. PA scholars and practitioners may utilize strategies from the TTM (e.g., social support and goal setting) to develop and promote effective and appealing PA motivational programs for the posited populace.



[1]. United States Department of Health and Human Services (2000). In: Healthy People 2010 (2nd ed.). With understanding and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving Health (2 vols.). Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

[2] Kosma M. et al. (2002). Quest. 54, 116-132.

[3] Kosma M. et al. (2003). Res. Q. Exerc. Sport, 74, Suppl.

[4] Rosen C.S. (2000). Health Psychol., 19, 593-604.



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