Do momentary body-related emotions predict movement time? Evaluating concurrent and time-lagged relations using experience sampling


Body-related guilt and shame have been identified as self-conscious emotions that may drive physical activity behaviour. However, existing research has predominantly relied on cross-sectional designs that preclude an understanding of temporal sequencing. The present study examined concurrent and lagged associations between body-related shame/guilt and movement time among university students using experience sampling methodology. Participants (N = 96; 80.4% female; Mage = 19.44 years) were prompted 7x/day for seven days to self-report their body-related shame, guilt, and minutes spent moving consecutively when the prompt went off. Estimated using multilevel models, at the within-person level, participants reported lower concurrent levels of movement time during instances when body-related shame was higher than usual (? = -1.53, 95% CI[-2.48, -0.50]) and when body-related guilt was lower than usual (? = 1.17, 95% CI[0.36, 2.04]). At the between-person level, neither average levels of body-related shame nor guilt predicted average movement time. In addition, both lagged body-related shame and guilt did not predict movement time at the next prompt at either the within-person or between-person level. Further developing our understanding of emotional experiences contextualized to the body, higher levels of body-related shame and lower levels of body-related guilt tend to co-occur with engagement in movement behaviours over time. Since body-related guilt and shame were not associated with subsequent movement behaviour, it is possible that experiencing guilt and shame is more likely to occur during movement but does not drive movement behaviour. Experimental research is needed to determine causal relationships between guilt, shame, and movement behaviour.