Exercise psychology and Self-Determination Theory
Exercise psychology is defined as the study of psychological factors underlying participation and adherence in physical activity programs (Anshel, 1948). Health and exercise psychology have gained much prominence over the last few decades especially when it comes to explaining and understanding exercise behaviours (Berger, Pargman, & Weinberg, 2007).The advancement of technology has made life easier resulting in more physically inactivity both at work and in our leisure-time (Engstrom, 2010). Therefore, there is still significantly high prevalence of overweight and obesity (Ku et al., 2006; Niñerola et al., 2006), both in childhood and adolescence (Trost and Loprinzi, 2008).Chronic disease and obesity have received most of the attention in public health (Williams, P25). Obesity is the second highest cause of preventable disability and death in the developed world (House of Commons Health Committee, 2004). Exercising regularly is highly beneficial for health and psychological well-being (Biddle, 1993). Although there is large number of research on the beneficial influences of exercise on psychological and physiological well-being, studies and research have found that only about small percentage of children and adult population participates in physical activity (The National Public Health Report, 2009). Anshel (2006) found the commonest motives to perform exercise were weight management and improved health. whereas, much research has stated the barrier to participation in exercise is a' perceived lack of tim'e (Gómez-López, Granero Gallegos & Baerna Extremera, 2010; Lovell, Ansari & Parker, 2010; Tergerson & King, 2002).There are psychology theories that have been applied to the exercise setting in an attempt to explain why people don’t exercise, why they start to exercise, why do they stop. These theories include (a) the theory of reasoned action, (b) the theory of planned behaviour, (c) the transtheoretical model of stage of change, (d) self-determination theory, (e) social cognitive theory, and (f) exercise self-schemata theory (cox, p419). This paper will be discussing self-determination theory, which has become a popular framework and most widely used for examining motivational issue in physical activity contexts (Frederick-Recasciono, 2002). Self-determination theory (STD) is a motivational theory that has been widely used to examine the relationship between motivation and physical activity (Deci & Ryan, 1995). SDT assumes that all the human possess three basic psychological needs for autonomy (desire to engage in activities of own choice), competence (the faith that one can efficaciously interact with environment), and relatedness (feeling of connection). As a central focus of this paper, six research studies have been reviewed in detail that have formally tested STD in an applied setting to promote physical activities. This paper will briefly summarise the main finding for those studies and the practical implication of self-determination in physical activity. Discussion
Standage Martyn Standage, Joan L. Duda, and Nikos Ntoumanis (2003) conducted a study on 328 children (160 boys, 138 girls, 30 gender not specified) with the mean age of 13-14 years. Those participants attended two different schools and were examined on motivational response that varies in the levels of student motivation and their intention to take part in physical activities in their leisure time. Results showed that a teacher’s interpersonal style has a positive effect on the intension to be physically active through autonomy, competence, and relatedness. From this result, physical educators should ensure that the class structures are autonomy-supportive and mastery focused which will facilitate them via self-determined motivation. Psychologists can train a teacher to create a class environment marked by autonomy support, structure and interpersonal involvement. Teachers can...
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