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gerontology, exercise, self-efficacy



  1. Conn, Vicki S.


Background: Despite the potential benefits of exercise, rates of exercise among older adults remain low. Self-efficacy expectation is the strongest correlate of exercise behavior or exercise behavior change.


Objectives: To develop and test the predictive ability of a model of exercise among older adults.


Method: The model's constructs related to exercise and self-efficacy included outcome expectancy, perceived barriers to exercise, perceived health, age, and lifelong leisure exercise among adults 65 to 100 years years of age(N = 147). Data were collected by personal interview and analyzed with path analysis.


Results: Self-efficacy expectation had a strong direct effect on exercise. Outcome expectancy contributed little to exercise in the model. Perceived barriers and self-efficacy expectation, followed by age, exerted the most total influence on exercise scores.


Conclusions: Lifelong leisure exercise exerts its influence on exercise through self-efficacy beliefs, further emphasizing the importance of efficacy. Also important are perceived barriers to exercise. Further research should examine self-efficacy expectations, perceived barriers, and age as predictors of exercise among older adults at different stages of health behavior change.