Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 11–20

Explaining adolescent exercise behavior change: A longitudinal application of the transtheoretical model

  • Claudio R. Nigg

DOI: 10.1207/S15324796ABM2301_3

Cite this article as:
Nigg, C.R. ann. behav. med. (2001) 23: 11. doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2301_3


The developmental decline and benefits of exercise are documented; however, relatively little is known about the mechanisms and motivations underlying adolescent exercise behavior. This project investigates which variables drive exercise or are a consequence thereof, within the Transtheoretical Model (TTM). Baseline questionnaires (N = 819) were collected through 5 Canadian high schools. For this longitudinal investigation, all baseline participants were approached for a 3-year follow up. Follow-up questionnaire completers (n = 400; mean baseline age = 14.89, SD = 1.15; mean follow-up age = 17.62 years, SD = 1.18) were not different from noncompleters (n = 419) on all baseline variables, except for sex (54.75% and 43.68% females, respectively;p < .003). Stages, processes, self-efficacy, pros and cons of exercise from the TTM, and self-reported exercise were assessed. Panel analyses revealed that although the directions of the relations were as hypothesized, the processes did not significantly lead to exercise or vice versa. As hypothesized, exercise leads to self-efficacy and pros and cons, showing that the TTM can serve as a framework to understand adolescent exercise behavior. Future research needs to incorporate shorter assessment intervals and use larger samples to be able to look at adjacent stage transitions.

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio R. Nigg
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Promotion PartnershipCancer Prevention Research CenterKingston