Physical activity, self-efficacy, and perceived exertion among adolescents

Authors

  • Lorraine B. Robbins,

    1. School of Nursing, University of Michigan, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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    • Assistant Research Scientist.

  • Nola J. Pender,

    1. School of Nursing, University of Michigan, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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    • Professor Emerita.

  • David L. Ronis,

    1. School of Nursing, University of Michigan, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    2. US Department of Veterans Affairs, 2215 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor, MI
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    • Director, Statistical Consulting Team, and Associate Research Scientist.

  • Anamaria S. Kazanis,

    1. School of Nursing, University of Michigan, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
    2. Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, 440 Lorch Hall, 611 Tappan, Ann Arbor, MI
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    • Research Associate II.

  • Monika B. Pis

    1. School of Nursing, University of Michigan, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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    • Doctoral Candidate.


Abstract

The relationship of self-efficacy, a sense of confidence in personal physical activity (PA) skills, to perceived exertion during activity was explored among 168 African American and European American boys and girls between 9 and 17 years of age. Participants walked/ran on a treadmill at a speed equivalent to 60% of their peak VO2 for 20 minutes and provided ratings of exertion every 4 minutes. Pre-activity self-efficacy predicted perceived exertion for boys only. Girls were lower than boys in pre-activity self-efficacy and subsequently reported greater perceived exertion. For both genders, lower perceived exertion during PA resulted in higher post-activity self-efficacy. Uncomfortable perceptions of exertion during initial efforts to increase PA are likely to discourage future activity. Interventions that can lower perceptions of exertion may enhance self-efficacy and promote a sense of competence in PA skills. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 27:435–446, 2004

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