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Sports 2016, 4(2), 25; doi:10.3390/sports4020025

Autonomy Mediates the Relationship between Personality and Physical Activity: An Application of Self-Determination Theory

Department of Exercise Science, Elon University, Elon, NC 27244, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eling de Bruin
Received: 1 January 2016 / Revised: 24 April 2016 / Accepted: 28 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
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Abstract

This study sought to examine tenets of Self-Determination Theory by testing a mediation model of physical activity and personality via autonomy. A total of 290 adults were recruited to complete a one-time online survey of exercise habits and individual characteristics. Surveys assessed personality, autonomy, and physical activity. A measurement model specifying direct effects between personality dimensions and physical activity and indirect effects operating through autonomy provided an excellent fit to the data (Χ2 = 0.66, df = 3, p = 0.88, RMSEA(90% CI) = 0.00 (0.00–0.05), CFI = 0.99, SRMR = 0.01). Results indicated significant (p < 0.05) effects of Extroversion (β = 0.42), Conscientiousness (β = 0.96), and Emotional Stability (β = 0.60) on autonomy, which in turn, was significantly associated with physical activity (β = 0.55). No significant effects were observed for Agreeableness or Intellect. None of the personality constructs were found to be directly associated with physical activity. This model accounted for 27% of the variance in physical activity. The results of this study suggest that autonomy is significantly associated with physical activity. Therefore, attempts to improve autonomy in individuals may be a useful intervention strategy in improving physical activity levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: personality; physical activity; autonomy; self-determination personality; physical activity; autonomy; self-determination
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramsey, M.L.; Hall, E.E. Autonomy Mediates the Relationship between Personality and Physical Activity: An Application of Self-Determination Theory. Sports 2016, 4, 25.

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