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J Phys Act Health. 2017 Jul;14(7):513-519. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2016-0515. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Psychosocial Predictors of Physical Activity Change Among College Students in an Obesity Prevention Trial.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is critical for maintaining a healthy weight, although little is known about psychological barriers to maintaining MVPA in at-risk groups. Identifying characteristics associated with poor MVPA maintenance in obesity prevention programs could improve participant outcomes.

METHODS:

Toward this end, we examined predictors of MVPA in an obesity prevention trial for college students at risk for weight gain (n = 333; 72% female, mean BMI = 23.4 kg/m2). Participants engaged in 1 of 3 weight control interventions and in 4 assessments over 12-month follow-up (ie, measured height/weight, self-reports of psychosocial characteristics, 4 days of accelerometer wear).

RESULTS:

Multilevel modeling analyses showed that across conditions, participants decreased total MVPA minutes per week over 12 months (B = -5.48, P < .01). Baseline self-report scores for both impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance regarding engaging in unhealthy behaviors negatively predicted MVPA over time. Participants higher (vs. lower) in baseline impulsiveness (B = -6.89, P = .03) and dissonance (B = -4.10, P = .04) began the study with more MVPA minutes, but showed sharper declines over time.

CONCLUSIONS:

Targeted MVPA-focused intervention for students who show elevated impulsiveness and cognitive dissonance may improve both MVPA and weight control outcomes for these individuals.

KEYWORDS:

guidelines and recommendations; health behavior; psychology

PMID:
28290744
PMCID:
PMC6175286
DOI:
10.1123/jpah.2016-0515
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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