Physical activity intervention in older adults: does a participating partner make a difference?
- 1.1k Downloads
Social integration and social support are expected to facilitate the adoption and maintenance of physical activity. In the context of a physical activity intervention, we distinguished three partner status groups, serving as an indicator of social integration. It was hypothesized that individuals whose partner also participated in the intervention, as opposed to individuals whose partners did not participate, or individuals without an intimate partner, would benefit more in terms of their physical activity. In a second step, a differential prediction pattern of social support on physical activity for each of the three partner status groups was investigated. The study involved 302 men and women (aged 60–95 years) and included two measurement points in time: A baseline assessment with a leaflet intervention to foster physical activity, and a 4-week follow-up assessment. In participants whose partners took part in the intervention, physical activity increased substantially over time, whereas it did not change in those individuals whose partners were not involved in the intervention, and it did not change in singles. Social support was positively related to physical activity when couples participated together in the intervention, but it was negatively related in singles or when partners did not participate. Social support appeared to be beneficial for physical activity in older adults when both partners participate in the intervention, which might reflect joint exercise or reciprocal exercise support. Singles or those with nonparticipating partners are not only less active, they might also be impeded by misguided support that could be perceived as social control.
KeywordsSocial support Physical activity Intervention
This work has been supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the project “Fostering Lifelong Autonomy and Resources in Europe: Behaviour and Successful Aging: FLARE-BSA” (Project ID 01ET0801). The first author was funded by the PhD Program “Multimorbidity in Old Age” of the Robert Bosch Foundation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors.
- Aiken LS, West SG (1991) Multiple regression: testing and interpreting interactions. Sage, Newbury ParkGoogle Scholar
- Bandura A (1997) Self-efficacy: the exercise of control. Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Blanke K, Stanek K, Stacy RD (1990) Comparison of the success of nutrition education to lower dietary cholesterol and fat with and without spouse support for individuals with elevated blood cholesterol. Health Values 14:33–37Google Scholar
- Bosworth HB, Schaie KW (1997) The relationship of social environment, social networks, and health outcomes in the Seattle longitudinal study: two analytical approaches. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 52B(5):197–205Google Scholar
- Cavill N, Kahlmeier S, Racioppi F (eds) (2006) Physical activity and health in Europe: evidence for action. World Health Organization, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
- Garcia AW, King AC (1991) Predicting long-term adherence to aerobic exercise: a comparison of two models. J Sport Exerc Psychol 13(4):394–410Google Scholar
- Huy C, Schneider S (2008) Instrument für die Erfassung der physischen Aktivität bei Personen im mittleren und höheren Erwachsenenalter. Entwicklung, Prüfung und Anwendung des “German-PAQ-50+” [Instrument for the assessment of middle-aged and older adults’ physical activity: Design, eliability and application of the German-PAQ-50+]. Z Gerontol Geriatr 41:208–216. doi: 10.1007/s00391-007-0474-y
- Irwin ML, Tworoger SS, Yasui Y, Rajan B, McVarish L, LaCroix K, Ulrich CM, Bowen D, Schwartz RS, Potter JD, McTiernan A (2004) Influence of demographic, physiologic, and psychosocial variables on adherence to a yearlong moderate-intensity exercise trial in postmenopausal women. Prev Med 39(6):1080–1086. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.04.017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Knoll N, Schwarzer R (2002) Gender and age differences in social support: a study on East German refugees. In: Weidner G, Kopp M, Kristenson M (eds) Heart disease: environment, stress, and gender. NATO Science Series, Series I: Life and behavioural sciences, vol 327. IOS Press, Amsterdam, pp 198–210Google Scholar
- McNabb J, Der-Karabetian A, Rhoads J (1989) Family involvement and outcome in treatment of alcoholism. Psychol Rep 65:1327–1330Google Scholar
- Netz Y, Tenenbaum G, Eklund RC (2007) Physical activity and three dimensions of psychological functioning in advanced age: cognition, affect, and self-perception. In: Tenenbaum G, Eklund RC (eds) Handbook of sport psychology, 3rd edn. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 492–508Google Scholar
- Nyamathi A, Flaskerud J, Keenan C, Leake B (1998) Effectiveness of a specialized vs. traditional AIDS education program attended by homeless and drug-addicted women alone or with supportive persons. AIDS Educ Prev 10:433–446Google Scholar
- Rook KS (1990) Social networks as a source of social control in older adults’ lives. In: Giles H, Coupland N, Wiemann J (eds) Communication health and the elderly. University of Manchester Press, Manchester, pp 45–63Google Scholar
- USDHHS (2010) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009. DHHS Publication, HyattsvilleGoogle Scholar
- van Gool CH, Penninx BWJH, Kempen GIJM, Miller GD, van Eijk JTM, Pahor M, Messier SP (2006) Determinants of high and low attendance to diet and exercise interventions among overweight and obese older adults: results from the arthritis, diet, and activity promotion trial. Contemp Clin Trials 27(3):227–237. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2005.11.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Whaley DE, Schrider AF (2005) The process of adult exercise adherence: self-perceptions and competence. Sport Psychologist 19(2):148Google Scholar