Motivational Correlates of Exercise Behavior Among College Students

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Jesenia Nieves
Zachary Zenko


The purpose of this research was to explore the relations between basic psychological needs satisfaction (autonomy, relatedness, perceived competence), intrinsic motivation, attraction toward exercise, and exercise behavior among college students. In this study, 128 participants (including 91 women and 36 men, mean age: 24 ± 7 years) responded to a questionnaire assessing basic psychological needs satisfaction (autonomy, competence, relatedness), intrinsic motivation, attraction (vs. antipathy) toward exercise, and exercise behavior. Frequency of aerobic exercise, frequency of resistance exercise, and total aerobic exercise behavior are positively associated with autonomy, competence, relatedness, intrinsic motivation, and attraction toward exercise. Three exploratory mediation analyses suggest that attraction (vs. antipathy) toward exercise mediates the relation between intrinsic motivation and exercise behavior. Taken together, these data support and extend previous research on the importance of motivationally relevant variables, including autonomy, competence, relatedness, intrinsic motivation, and affective exercise experiences.


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Nieves, J., & Zenko, Z. (2023). Motivational Correlates of Exercise Behavior Among College Students. Communications in Kinesiology, 1(5).
Exercise and Sport Psychology


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