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Understanding variations in exercise-identity strength through identity theory and self-determination theory

Understanding variations in exercise-identity strength through identity theory and self-determination theory

International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 11(3): 273-285

Using identity theory and self-determination theory (SDT), this study examined whether exercise-identity strength was associated with behavioural regulations for exercise (including integrated regulation). Further, this study assessed whether exercise identity and behavioural regulations interacted in their relationship with the self-regulation of exercise. This study was observational involving self-report. Data were collected at two time points, 1 month apart. Community exercisers (N?=?100; mean age?=?32.71 years) completed validated measures of identity strength, behavioural regulations, and self-regulation relative to exercise. As hypothesized, exercise identity was most significantly correlated (p?<0.001) with the more self-determined forms of behavioural regulation including identified (r?=?0.72), integrated (r?=?0.82), and intrinsic (r?=?0.58) regulations. Further, identified regulation moderated the relationship between exercise identity and self-regulation (p?<0.001). Overall, this study suggests that variations in exercise-identity strength may be characterized by differential regulation of exercise. Further, exercise-identity strength and identified regulation may interact in their relation to exercise self-regulation. Finally, results support the complementary use of identity theory and SDT; ideas to advance this line of inquiry are discussed.

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Accession: 036667259

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DOI: 10.1080/1612197x.2013.749005

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