Women health-related physical activity program participants’ perceived autonomy support and basic psychological needs in exercise at a university setting

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2014
Mehrtash, Shabnam
Using self-determination theory and trans-theoretical model, the aim of this study was to examine the women health-related physical activity participants’ perceived autonomy support and basic psychological needs in exercise in terms of their exercise stages of change (five stages including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance) preferred physical activities (aerobic vs muscular endurance & flexibility), frequency of participation (weekly number of days in physical activity) and job type (student, administrative staff and academic staff) at a university setting. The sample consisted of 175 women participating in health related physical activity classes including Zumba, Power Step, Pilates, Free-style Tempo, Free Style Combat, Yoga and Total Body at a university (M age= 25.1, SD= 7.2). Participants completed the Perceived Autonomy Support, Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Setting and Physical Activity Stages of Change Questionnaires. Data analyzed by using one-way ANOVA and one-way MANOVA. Findings indicated that perceived autonomy support was significantly different by exercise stages of change (p<.05). Further analysis indicated that only the participants in the Action stage had higher perceived autonomy support from the participants in the Contemplation stage (p<.05). There was no significant difference between perceived autonomy support with participants’ preferred physical activity, weekly frequency of exercise participation and job type (p>.05). Findings on psychological needs in exercise revealed that there was a significant difference by participants’ preferred physical activities and job type (p<.05). Aerobic type physical activity participants had higher perceived basic psychological needs in exercise score than the participants of muscular endurance and flexibility type of activities (p<.05). Among type of jobs, administrative staff had higher perceived basic psychological needs in exercise scores than the scores of students (p<.05). No significant difference was found between the basic psychological needs in exercise scores of student and academic staff, and academic staff and administrative staff (p>.05). There was no significant difference in the basic psychological needs in exercise by participants’ stages of change and weekly frequency of exercise (p>.05). In conclusion, findings indicated that participants’ perceived autonomy is differed by exercise stages of change level, and basic psychological needs in exercise is differed by preferred physical activities and job type. In order to meet the needs of women health related physical activity program participants in the university setting, physical activity program providers and instructors should consider perceived autonomy support and basic psychological needs by exercise stages of change preferred physical activities and job type.

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Citation Formats
S. Mehrtash, “Women health-related physical activity program participants’ perceived autonomy support and basic psychological needs in exercise at a university setting,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.