Differentiated roles of social encouragement and social constraint on physical activity behavior

  • Jeanne M. GabrieleEmail author
  • Mark S. Walker
  • Diane L. Gill
  • Kent D. Harber
  • Edwin B. Fisher


Background: Social support is, in general, positively associated with exercise behavior. However, social influence may not always be helpful and may sometimes lead to obligation or a sense of intrusion rather than encouragement or assistance.Purpose: The objective was to determine relationships among different types of social influence (social encouragement and social constraint) and exercise motivation and exercise behavior.Method: Structural equation modeling was used to investigate relationships among exercise and social influence variables.Results: A model was found to fit the data well in which social encouragement had an indirect association with exercise behavior through motivational variables. Social constraint was associated with only one aspect of exercise motivation—“have to,” or obligatory, commitment—and had no direct or indirect association with exercise behavior.Conclusions: These findings emphasize the importance of social influences that promote desirable behaviors in contrast to those that pose constraints on the failure to perform desirable behaviors.


Social Support Structural Equation Modeling Social Influence Behavioral Medicine Physical Activity Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne M. Gabriele
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mark S. Walker
    • 1
  • Diane L. Gill
    • 2
  • Kent D. Harber
    • 3
  • Edwin B. Fisher
    • 4
  1. 1.Washington UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of North Carolina at GreensboroUSA
  3. 3.Rutgers University at NewarkUSA
  4. 4.Washington UniversityUSA

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