The differences of motivation and attitude toward exercise among different levels of athletic participation

Por: Chun-ming Chen e Liang-mei Yang.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Exercise motivations are the most important issue for exercise participation. Attitude is an essential variable of the theory of planned behavior. It may link to personal believe or expectation of exercise behaviors. Different genders and athletic participant level may possess different motivations and attitude toward exercise. The aim of the study tried to explore the effects of athletic participation levels on exercise motivations and exercise attitude between genders.


541 university students (249 males and 292 females) completed the Exercise Motivation Scale four factors and Exercise Attitude Scale four factors. Based upon athletic participation level state/nation, school, club, or non-at-all sport athletes, participants divided into four groups: high, medium, low and non participation. Two-way MANOVA was applied to analysis the differences among genders and athletic participation.


There were interactions between genders and four athletic groups of exercise motivations. The simple main effects indicated medium and high level groups scored significantly higher than low and non-participants for both males and females. Furthermore, low level showed higher score than non-participants only for females. Differences between genders showed in high level and non-participants but not in low and medium level. The exercise attitude did not show any interaction in four factors among sex and athletic participation. Males scored higher attitude than females in four factors. Low, medium and high level of athletic participants also had more positive attitude than non-participants. Medium and high level participants scored higher attitude than low athletic participants in involvement and achievement/satisfaction factors as well.


Past specific behavior had direct influence on the motivation and attitude [1,2] which reflected to the behaviour development as well [3,4]. The results proved there were effects on the motivation and attitude among genders and levels of athletic participation. The experiences of challenge and achievement were important factors in exercise adherence. Recommendation for physical education courses or exercise programs is to create the competitive experience on sport to increase student’s interest and intention to participate exercise/sport after classes.


  1. lbarracin, D. & Robert S. Jr., W.(2000). The cognitive impact of past behavior: influences on beliefs, attitudes, and future behavioral decisions. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 79(1), 5-22.
  2. Weinberg, R. S. & Gould, D. 1999. Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Human Kinetics.
  3. Dishman, R. K., Ickes, W. J., & Morgan, W. P.( 1980). Self-motivation and adherence to habitual physical activity. Journal of applied Social Psychology, 10, 115-132.
  4. Hammitt, S.(1984). The influence of social group, past experience, and attitude on participation and non-participation in sports and physical activities. Dissertation Abstracts International, DAI-A 45/02, p.452.




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