Aspen moves! Exploring sources of self-efficacy for exercise in a community-based exercise intervention: Preliminary results


This study examined sources of self-efficacy (SE) and their relationship to task, coping and scheduling SE during a 6 month, community-based exercise intervention. Eighty-eight adults (M age = 43.39 years, N = 30 men, N = 58 women) were recruited and results from the first month are reported here. Activity was assessed with a Fitbit Flex. Sources of SE were assessed with 18 items (Warner et al., 2014) representing mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion by others, self-persuasion, negative affect and positive affect. Task, coping and scheduling SE for exercise were assessed with 9 items (Rodgers et al., 2008). Correlations showed that verbal persuasion (r = -.22) and vicarious experience (r = -.23) were related to task SE. Coping SE was related to mastery experience (r = .52), self-persuasion (r = .42), positive affect (r = .23), and negative affect (r = -.22). Scheduling SE was related to mastery experience (r = .69), self-persuasion (r = .58), and positive affect (r = .23). Regressions showed that no source predicted task SE. Coping SE was significantly predicted by mastery experience (R2 = 31, B = .38), and scheduling SE was predicted by both mastery and self-persuasion (R2 = .46, B = .58 and .20 respectively). Activity (steps) was predicted by scheduling SE (R2 = .21, B = .30). Results suggest that early in an exercise intervention, encouragement from others does not foster positive task SE beliefs. Mastery experience and self-persuasion were key sources of SE, with scheduling SE prospectively predicting behaviour.