Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 419–428 | Cite as

How does frustration make you feel? A motivational analysis in exercise context

  • Diogo S. Teixeira
  • Marlene N. Silva
  • António L. Palmeira
Original Paper


Not all exercisers experience the same psychological benefits. The understanding of motivational processes and their relation with emotional consequences of exercise should be considered in the context of the exercisers motivation. This was a cross-sectional study of 153 gym users (M = 36.21 years, SD = 8.44; 44.9% men, 55.1% women; M years exercise = 8). Weekly attendance averaged 4.3 (SD = 2.6) sessions per week; reported exertion intensity was 5.6 (SD = 2.1) (scale: 0–11). The basic psychological needs (BPNs) posited by self-determination theory, motivational regulation, and emotional response to physical activity, were measured. Possible mediators of BPN-emotion relationships were analyzed. BPN satisfaction was associated with a positive emotional response to exercise which was partially mediated by the effect of autonomous regulation on positive activation and psychological well-being. Mediation models indicated that the negative effects of BPN frustration were counteracted by autonomous regulation. Exercise professionals should be able to create psychologically supportive contexts and identify behaviors associated with need frustration so as to enhance emotional responses to exercise.


Physical exercise Motivational regulation Basic psychological needs satisfaction Basic psychological needs frustration Emotional response 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Diogo Teixeira, Marlene Silva and António Palmeira declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Physical Education and SportLusofona University of Humanities and TechnologiesLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Human Performance (CIPER), Faculty of Human KineticsUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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