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Title: Physical activity adoption, maintenance, and compensation among older Northern Irish adults
Author: Gray, Phillip
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2016
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Despite the importance of physical activity (PA) promotion among older adults, they remain an underesearched age group within the PA domain, particularly from a theoretical perspective. The current research aimed to gain a better understanding of how to promote and maintain PA among the elderly by employing psychological theory, including Self- Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985), Self-Efficacy Theory (Bandura, 1997) and the Theory of Physical Activity Maintenance (TP AM; Nigg, Borrelli, Maddock, & Dishman, 2008). This thesis firstly presents a qualitative study exploring motives and barriers to PA among older adults employing SDT and Self-Efficacy Theory (Study 1). Secondly, a SDT randomised control trial to promote PA and indices of fitness and wellbeing is presented. Next, a randomised control trial integrating TP AM and motivational interviewing to promote PA maintenance is presented. Emanating from the findings of Study 2, Study 4 presents a qualitative investigation of PA compensation, whereas Study 5 aimed to develop a scale to measure compensatory barriers to PA. Findings from Study 1 suggested that identified and integrated regulations, and to a lesser extent intrinsic motives were primary influences on older adults PA, and that barriers differ according to socio-economic status. Findings of Study 2 showed that supplementing structured PA programmes with SDT based counselling and pedometers proved efficacious at promoting older adults’ PA, aerobic fitness, and wellbeing. Motivational interviewing integrating TP AM proved ineffective at maintaining older adults PA in Study 3, however increased perceptions of self-determination and self- efficacy. In regard to PA compensation, several mechanisms were identified in Study 4 including fatigue, “a drive to be inactive”, fear of overexertion, time constraints, and deficient motivation. Finally, a scale to assess compensatory barriers to PA was developed but not validated in Study 5. The implications of these findings for policy, research, practice, and older adults’ health and wellbeing is discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available