Background: Physical activity behavior is influenced by numerous factors including motivation, social interactions, and the walkability of the environment. Aim: To examine how social contexts and environmental features affect physical activity motivational processes across time. Methods: Participants (N=104) completed 3 monthly online surveys assessing self-determination theory constructs, social partners in physical activity, neighborhood walkability, and weekly physical activity. Longitudinal path analysis examined the degree to which physical activity was predicted by individual goals, orientation, and autonomy support and whether these associations were meditated by motivation and moderated by the social and environmental contexts of physical activity. Results: The effect of controlled exercise orientations on physical activity was mediated by autonomous motivation. This association was stronger among those who perceived less crime in their neighborhoods. Discussion: To improve the ability to tailor physical activity counseling it is important to understand how each person views exercise situations and to understand his/her social and neighborhood environments.
self-determination theory, mediation, moderation, physical activity, motivation
Date of this Version
Richards, Elizabeth; McDonough, M; and Fu, R, "Longitudinal examination of social and environmental influences on motivation for physical activity" (2017). School of Nursing Faculty Publications. Paper 30.