An investigation of the relationship of self -determination to exercise behavior in Icelandic women

Gudrun Marteinsdottir, University of Rhode Island


This study examines the nature of self-determination in exercise behavior (SDIEB) and its relationship to women's engagement in physical exercise. In an exploratory phase, a 34-item SDIEB instrument was developed based on notions of perceived self-determination as consisting of perceptions of rewards, as well as perceptions of freedom from constraints. The instrument is shown to have acceptable psychometric properties. Based on data from a mail survey of 329 randomly selected Icelandic women, age 25-64, living in the Reykjavik area, the main study factor analyses the SDIEB instrument, supporting a tripartide structure of self-determination in exercise, consisting of internal rewards, internal constraints and external constraints. The study finds that all three dimensions of self-determination are unevenly distributed by age, education, employment, and parental status. Furthermore, all dimensions of self-determination are related to the frequency of strenuous exercise (in general) as well as the likelihood of regular engagement in strenuous exercise, even after controlling for sociodemographic background. The theoretical implications of the results and their significance for nursing practice are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Health Sciences, Nursing|Psychology, Personality|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Gudrun Marteinsdottir, "An investigation of the relationship of self -determination to exercise behavior in Icelandic women" (1995). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9805245.