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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The impact of an adult health education program on exercise self-efficacy and participation in leisure-time physical activity Hubball, Harry Thomas


Low participation in and poor adherence to regular exercise presents a major challenge for health promotion programs. A growing body of evidence suggests that health education programs that are developed using the principles of Bandura’s (1986) Self—Efficacy Theory have shown success in maintaining a variety of health related behaviors. Exercise behavior however, is often more time consuming and requires more effort than most other health related behaviors, thus it remains to be seen whether adult health education programs which are intended to develop exercise self—efficacy, will indeed increase participation in, and adherence to regular exercise. After reviewing the available literature, an adult health education program was developed by the researcher that combined the principles from Bandura’s (1986) theoretical model of Self- Efficacy, with concepts and intervention strategies drawn from the literature in adult education, health education and exercise psychology. Green and Kreuter’s (1991) Precede-Proceed framework, an outcome—based health education planning model was used for the planning, implementation and evaluation processes of this adult health education program in a community setting. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the intervention program on exercise self—efficacy and the participation in leisure-time physical activity at the end of the five week program and at the end of a five week follow-up period. Thirty nine female residents from U.B.C. Acadia Park family housing were recruited for this study. The subjects were matched and paired and then randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. Both groups received a five week program of nine, ninety minute sessions. The experimental group received a program that focused on the self-regulation of exercise behavior and the control group received a traditional health education program based on standard health information. It was hypothesized that the experimental group would participate more frequently in exercise, and have higher exercise self—efficacy on completion of the five week program, and at the end of the five week follow-up period. The participation in exercise was measured using the 7—Day Recall Exercise Behavior Questionnaire (Godin and Shephard 1985) and exercise self—efficacy was assessed using the Exercise Self— Efficacy Scale (Marcus et al. 1992). The data were analyzed using a two way analysis of variance, group (two) by time (three) factorial design with repeated measures on the second factor for each dependent variable. In addition, Green and Kreuter’s (1991) Proceed evaluation framework was used to describe how learning was applied following the intervention program. The quantitative analysis indicated that the experimental group participated in a significantly higher frequency of exercise and had significantly higher levels of exercise self— efficacy at the end of the five week program and at the end of the five week follow-up period than the control group (p<0001). The Proceed evaluation revealed that the participants differed in their understanding of the self-regulatory strategies, their adaptation of these strategies, previous experience with exercise motivation, stages and rates of exercise adoption, personal resources and perceived power, social support, and perceived exercise self-efficacy. The hypotheses were supported by the results of this study and suggest that a health education program that is based on Bandura’s (1986) theory of self- efficacy and that focuses on the self—regulation of exercise behavior is effective for increasing and maintaining leisure- time physical activity.

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