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Health Psychol. 2015 May;34(5):556-65. doi: 10.1037/hea0000142. Epub 2014 Aug 11.

Examining the moderating effect of depressive symptoms on the relation between exercise and self-efficacy during the initiation of regular exercise.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Texas-Austin.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

People with depressive symptoms report lower levels of exercise self-efficacy and are more likely to discontinue regular exercise than others, but it is unclear how depressive symptoms affect the relation between exercise and self-efficacy. We sought to clarify whether depressive symptoms moderate the relations between exercise and same-day self-efficacy, and between self-efficacy and next-day exercise.

METHODS:

Participants (n = 116) were physically inactive adults (35% reported clinically significant depressive symptoms) who initiated regular exercise and completed daily assessments for 4 weeks. Mixed linear models were used to test whether (a) self-efficacy differed on days when exercise did and did not occur, (b) self-efficacy predicted next-day exercise, and (c) these relations were moderated by depressive symptoms.

RESULTS:

First, self-efficacy was lower on days when no exercise occurred, but this difference was larger for people with high depressive symptoms (p < .001). They had lower self-efficacy than people with low depressive symptoms on days when no exercise occurred (p = .03), but self-efficacy did not differ on days when exercise occurred (p = .34). Second, self-efficacy predicted greater odds of next-day exercise, OR = 1.12, 95% [1.04, 1.21], but depressive symptoms did not moderate this relation, OR = 1.00, 95% CI [.99, 1.01].

CONCLUSIONS:

During exercise initiation, daily self-efficacy is more strongly related to exercise occurrence for people with high depressive symptoms than those with low depressive symptoms, but self-efficacy predicts next-day exercise regardless of depressive symptoms. The findings specify how depressive symptoms affect the relations between exercise and self-efficacy and underscore the importance of targeting self-efficacy in exercise interventions, particularly among people with depressive symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record

PMID:
25110850
PMCID:
PMC4827250
DOI:
10.1037/hea0000142
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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