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Longitudinal associations between parents’ motivations to exercise and their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Early online date17 Apr 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Apr 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2019


Objectives: This study is the first examination of the longitudinal associations between behavioural regulation and accelerometer-assessed physical activity in parents of primary-school aged children. Design: A cohort design using data from the B-Proact1v project. Method: There were three measurement phases over five years. Exercise motivation was measured using the BREQ-2 and mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were derived from ActiGraph accelerometers worn for a minimum of 3 days. Cross-sectional associations were explored via linear regression models using parent data from the final two phases of the B-Proact1v cohort, when children were 8–9 years-old (925 parents, 72.3% mothers) and 10 to 11 years-old (891 parents, 72.6% mothers). Longitudinal associations across all three phases were explored using multi-level models on data from all parents who provided information on at least one occasion (2374 parents). All models were adjusted for gender, number of children, deprivation indices and school-based clustering. Results: Cross-sectionally, identified regulation was associated with 5.43 (95% CI [2.56, 8.32]) and 4.88 (95% CI [1.94, 7.83]) minutes more MVPA per day at times 2 and 3 respectively. In the longitudinal model, a one-unit increase in introjected regulation was associated with a decline in mean daily MVPA of 0.52 (95% CI [-0.88, −0.16]) minutes per year. Conclusions: Interventions to promote the internalisation of personally meaningful rationales for being active, whilst ensuring that feelings of guilt are not fostered, may offer promise for facilitating greater long-term physical activity engagement in parents of primary school age children.

    Research areas

  • Motivation, physical activity, Longitudinal, parents, accelerometer

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    Licence: CC BY


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