Social cognitive determinants of moderate and vigorous intensity leisure time physical activity in mainland Chinese university students


Social cognitive theory (SCT) can be used to understand correlates of physical activity. This research aimed to test the structure of SCT variables in relation to vigorous and moderate physical activity for mainland Chinese university students. Chinese university undergraduate students (N = 317; 54.8% female) completed an online survey package measuring physical activity, SCT variables (i.e., self-efficacy, social support, intention to be physically active, perceptions of access to places to be physically active), and self-construal. Structural equation modelling was used to test direct and indirect relationships between SCT variables and vigorous and moderate intensity physical activity. Social support was related to higher vigorous physical activity and self-efficacy (? = .28). Self-efficacy was related to greater intentions (? = .74) and access perceptions (? = .56). Social support is an important facilitator of physical activity for Chinese students, and may be especially important for those who endorse an independent self-construal.