Evaluative Conditioning Combined With Resistance Training Improves Exercise Adherence and Exercise Self-Efficacy in Hispanic Females.

Lorena Martin, University of Miami, USA

Theme: Exercise and health behaviors

Program ID: LEC-07B

Presentation: October 3, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Oak Alley


Consequences of being overweight or obese include lower perceptions of exercise self-efficacy and lack of exercise adherence. This lack of exercise adherence and decreased exercise self-efficacy may be due to underlying negative psychological associations they have about themselves vis a vis exercising. The current research attempts to modify these psychological associations using evaluative conditioning (EC), a technique that unconsciously links a target behavior to feelings of positivity. It is hypothesized that EC will modify self-associations with exercising, resulting in increased perceptions of exercise self-efficacy and exercise adherence. Additionally, we were interested in whether type of exercise would interact with EC. To this end, two types of resistance training, hypertrophy (HT) and power training (PT), were included. Following an initial physical and psychological assessment, a volunteer sample of 290 Hispanic females participated in a 2 (type of resistance training: HT/PT) by 2 (EC: Neutral/Positive) randomly assigned between-subjects three month longitudinal study. Subjects followed an exercise program supervised by personal trainers designed to adhere to either HT or PT activities, and were required to complete an EC task once a month. After completion of the exercise phase of the study, subjects completed the physical and psychological measures again. Results revealed an interaction between type of training and EC on total minutes of exercise, F (1, 141)= 9.10, p=.003, and a significant increase in exercise self-efficacy, such that subjects completed the positive EC task increased exercise self-efficacy and total minutes of exercise over those who completed the neutral EC task. Additionally, there was a main effect of EC on exercise self-efficacy, F (1,75) =4.96, p=.03. All four treatment conditions significantly increased exercise minutes and ESE over the control group. These results suggest that EC may be useful in modifying exercise behavior via changes in self-exercise associations.

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