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Percept Mot Skills. 2001 Dec;93(3):693-703.

Temporal relationships of self-efficacy and social support as predictors of adherence in a 6-month strength-training program for older women.

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  • 1School of Physical Education, University of Victoria, BC, Canada.


The present study investigated how self-efficacy and social support predicted adherence to a strength training program for elderly women over two time periods in the initial 6 mo. of the program. Participants were 30 elderly women volunteers aged 75 to 80 who completed measures of barrier self-efficacy and general social support at baseline and 3 mo. later. Social support from the program was also measured at 3 mo. Adherence to the program was measured by attendance. Hierarchical regression equations were utilized to identify the contributions of self-efficacy and social support for adherence at 0 to 3 mo. and 4 to 6 mo. For prediction of the first 3 mo. of adherence, both self-efficacy and social support contributed significant unique variance towards the total explained variance of 36%. For the 4- to 6-mo. period, self-efficacy explained significant (12%) variance in adherence even when controlling for the previous 3-mo. adherence. Inclusion of general social support and social support from the program, however, did not account for significant variance. Researchers must continue to examine self-efficacy and social support in exercise adherence within various time periods among older adults to develop effective intervention strategies.

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