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Res Q Exerc Sport. 1993 Mar;64(1):1-16.

Modeling social and psychological determinants of exercise behaviors via structural equation systems.

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  • 1Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene.


Recent advances in structural modeling techniques allow for the testing of complex models representing social and behavioral processes. However, most reported applications in sport and physical activity have been limited to simple models involving variables measured at a single point in time. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to demonstrate the use of both cross-sectional and longitudinal latent variable modeling techniques by examining the relationships among efficacy cognitions, social support, and the exercise behaviors of sedentary adults. Results revealed a good fit for the re-specified model, suggesting the existence of a lagged feedback mechanism in which exercise behaviors influenced residual change in social support. In turn, efficacy cognitions appeared to serve a mediational function in the synchronous relationship between social support and exercise behavior. Findings are discussed in terms of the utility of structural equation modeling techniques for understanding the complex social and cognitive processes involved in exercise behavior.

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