Utilizing Self-Determination Theory to Assist in Understanding College Students' Motivation for Physical Activity
Term of Award
Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Health and Kinesiology
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Obesity has become a national epidemic, (CDC, 2006; Desai, Miller, Staples, & Bravender, 2008), while causing life-threatening health conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and other functional issues (Schoenborn & Strommel, 2011). It has been estimated that less than half of populations in industrialized countries are sufficiently physically active to prevent health issues (Sapkota, Bowles, Ham, & Kohl, 2005). The current study utilized the Self-Determination theory (SDT) by Deci and Ryan (1985, 2002) to help understand motivation, but more specifically exercise motivations. This study targeted basic psychological need (PNSE) and motivation regulations (BREQ-2) of a general population of college students. Correlations revealed that there were statistically significant correlations between achieving CDC physical activity recommendations and BMI, gender and four behavioral regulations (external, introjected, identified and intrinsic). These six variables developed a statistically significant logistic regression model (χ2= 28.92, df = 6, N = 3, p < .001), predicting the correct group (achieved or not achieved) 74.7%. Additionally, there were not significant differences between psychological need and those who did and did not achieve CDC recommendations. Finally, there were statistically significant scores between four behavioral recommendations (external, introjected, identified and intrinsic) and those who achieved and did not achieve physical activity. Implications of these findings, directions for future research, limitations and strengths of the study were also discussed.
McDaniel, Tyler Coe, "Utilizing Self-Determination Theory to Assist in Understanding College Students' Motivation for Physical Activity" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 130.
Research Data and Supplementary Material