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Ann Behav Med. 2002 Spring;24(2):149-56.

Social cognitive determinants of physical activity in young adults: a prospective structural equation analysis.

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  • 1Center for Research in Health Behavior, Department of Psychology, Virginia Tech, Blackburg 24061, USA.


This study used a prospective design to test a model of the relation between social cognitive variables and physical activity in a sample of 277 university students. Social support, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and self-regulation were measured at baseline and used to predict physical activity 8 weeks later. Results of structural equation modeling indicated a good fit of the social cognitive model to the data. Within the model, self-efficacy had the greatest total effect on physical activity, mediated largely by self-regulation, which directly predicted physical activity. Social support indirectly predicted physical activity through its effect on self-efficacy. Outcome expectations had a small total effect on physical activity, which did not reach significance. The social cognitive model explained 55% of the variance observed in physical activity.

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