Impact of a brief intervention on physical activity and social cognitive determinants among working mothers: a randomized trial
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Working mothers exhibit high levels of inactivity, and theory-based interventions to bolster physical activity within this population are needed. This study examined the effectiveness of a brief social cognitive theory-based intervention designed to increase physical activity among working mothers. Participants (N = 141) were randomly assigned to an intervention only, intervention plus follow-up support, or waitlist control condition. The intervention consisted of two group-based workshop sessions designed to teach behavior modification strategies using social cognitive theory. Data were collected at baseline, immediately post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up. Results showed intervention participants exhibited short-term increases in physical activity, which were partially maintained 6 months later. Improvements in physical activity were mediated by increases in self-regulation and self-efficacy. This study provides some support for the effectiveness of a brief intervention to increase physical activity among working mothers. Future programs should explore alternative support mechanisms which may lead to more effective maintenance of initial behavior changes.
KeywordsWorking mothers Exercise adherence Social cognitive theory Physical activity Self-efficacy Goal setting
This study was supported by the Coca-Cola Company Doctoral Student Grant on Behavior Research Fund and the Raymond and Rosalee Weiss Research Endowment from the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation.
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