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Examining exercise dependence symptomatology from a self-determination perspective

By Jemma Edmunds, Nikos Ntoumanis and Joan L Duda


Background: Based on the theoretical propositions of Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985) this study examined whether individuals classified as “nondependent-symptomatic” and “nondependent-asymptomatic” for exercise dependence differed in terms of the level of exercise-related psychological need satisfaction and self-determined versus controlling motivation they reported. Further, we examined if the type of motivational regulations predicting exercise behaviour differed among these groups. Methods: Participants (N = 339), recruited from fitness, community, and retail settings, completed measures of exercise-specific psychological need satisfaction, motivational regulations, exercise behaviour and exercise dependence. Results: Individuals who were nondependent-symptomatic for exercise dependence reported higher levels of competence need satisfaction and all forms of motivational regulation, compared to nondependent-asymptomatic individuals. Introjected regulation approached significance as a positive predictor of strenuous exercise behaviour for symptomatic individuals. Identified regulation was a positive predictor of strenuous exercise for asymptomatic individuals. Conclusions: The findings reinforce the applicability of SDT to understanding engagement in exercise

Topics: GV Recreation Leisure, BF Psychology
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1177/1359105306069091
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