Do Perceptions of the Psychosocial Climate Predict Exercise Commitment?

Morgan Hall, University of Utah, USA

Theme: Motivation and self-perceptions

Program ID: LEC-16A

Presentation: October 5, 2013 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Room: Jasperwood


Commitment to exercise is essential to maintaining an active lifestyle. Lifelong physical and mental well-being through exercise is dependent upon one’s commitment to exercise. The Sport Commitment Model (SCM; Scanlan et al., 1993) explains the psychological construct of commitment. The SCM proposes that commitment is determined by enjoyment, personal investment, involvement opportunities, involvement alternatives, social constraints, and social support (Scanlan et al., 2003). The SCM has recently been applied in an exercise setting (Wilson et al., 2004). Commitment to exercise may be related to the psychosocial climate (task-involving, ego-involving, and caring climate) of group classes. This study examined the relationship between the perceptions of the psychosocial climate in fitness classes and the determinants of commitment. Participants included 117 college students participating in group exercise classes. Participants completed the Perceived Motivational Climate in Exercise Questionnaire, the Caring Climate Scale, and the Exercise Commitment Scale. All instruments were reliable (alpha =.68-.90). Multiple regressions analyses revealed that four of the six determinants of commitment were predicted by the psychosocial climate. Perceptions of a caring climate predicted satisfaction in an exercise setting (R2 = 18%; Beta = .356, t = 2.933, p =.004). Perceptions of a task climate predicted involvement opportunities (R2 = 31%; Beta = .319, t = 2.79, p = .006) and involvement alternatives (R2 = 26%; Beta = -.248, t = -2.297, p = .024). Perceptions of an ego climate predicted a negative sense of social support (R2 = 29%; Beta = -.296, t = -2.862, p = .005). Findings suggest fostering a caring and task climate may facilitate feelings of enjoyment, valuing the opportunity to exercise, and valuing exercise over other potential opportunities, thus increasing commitment to exercise. In general, group exercise leaders and practitioners may utilize these findings to create a psychosocial climate that enhances commitment among their clientele.

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