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Res Q Exerc Sport. 2004 Mar;75(1):81-91.

Relationships between exercise regulations and motivational consequences in university students.

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  • 1Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.


The aim of this study was to examine propositions stemming from Self-Determination Theory (SDT) that contend motivational consequences vary as a function of different regulations in the exercise domain. Participants (N = 276; n = 98 men; n = 178 women) completed inventories assessing exercise regulations, current exercise behavior, and behavioral intentions to continue exercising for the next 4 months and the effort and importance associated with exercise participation. Bivariate analyses indicated autonomous exercise regulations (identified and intrinsic) were the strongest correlates of each motivational consequence across both sexes, and introjected regulation was positively associated with exercise consequences in women. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses indicated that exercise regulations accounted for a sizeable portion of the variance across each motivational consequence in both sexes (R2adj values ranged from .20 to .53). Both regression and structure coefficients revealed that introjected regulation was a stronger motivational force in women than men, and identified regulation was the most important predictor of all three motivational consequences in both sexes. Collectively, these findings suggest that exercise regulations differentially predict motivational consequences across sexes, and future research using this theoretical framework for examining motivational issues pertinent to the exercise domain appears warranted.

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