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Psychooncology. 2006 Jul;15(7):567-78.

Predicting physical activity and outcome expectations in cancer survivors: an application of Self-Determination Theory.

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  • 1Brock University, St Catharines, Ont., Canada.


The purpose of this study was to examine the contributions of autonomous and controlled motives drawn from Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Intrinsic Motivation and Self-determination in Human Behavior. Plenum Press: New York, 1985; Handbook of Self-determination Research. University of Rochester Press: New York, 2002) towards predicting physical activity behaviours and outcome expectations in adult cancer survivors. Participants were cancer-survivors (N=220) and a non-cancer comparison cohort (N=220) who completed an adapted version of the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire modified for physical activity behaviour (TSRQ-PA), an assessment of the number of minutes engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) weekly, and the anticipated outcomes expected from regular physical activity (OE). Simultaneous multiple regression analyses indicated that autonomous motives was the dominant predictor of OEs across both cancer and non-cancer cohorts (R(2adj)=0.29-0.43), while MVPA was predicted by autonomous (beta's ranged from 0.21 to 0.34) and controlled (beta's ranged from -0.04 to -0.23) motives after controlling for demographic considerations. Cancer status (cancer versus no cancer) did not moderate the motivation-physical activity relationship. Collectively, these findings suggest that the distinction between autonomous and controlled motives is useful and compliments a growing body of evidence supporting SDT as a framework for understanding motivational processes in physical activity contexts with cancer survivors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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