Social predictors of daily relations between college women’s physical activity intentions and behavior

Leah M. Schumacher, Coco Thomas, M. Cole Ainsworth, Danielle Arigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women perform less physical activity (PA) than men, and this gap widens during college. This study examined college women’s daily PA intentions and behavior, and whether social support or social comparison orientation (SCO) moderated the PA intention-behavior relation. College women (N = 80) completed measures of social support and SCO at baseline. For seven consecutive days, participants completed an electronic survey to assess PA intentions and wore an activity monitor to assess minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). Results indicated that intended and performed MVPA minutes were weakly related (p = 0.17, sr = 0.16). Social support did not moderate the intention-behavior relation, but SCO did (p = 0.04, sr = 0.21). Participants with stronger (vs. weaker) SCO, particularly a tendency to compare downward (i.e., to worse-off others), showed smaller discrepancies between intended and completed MVPA. College women frequently fail to achieve PA goals, but stronger tendencies to make (downward) social comparisons may minimize this gap and be a target for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume44
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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