Promoting Exercise Behaviour and Well-being: the Kind of Received Social Support Makes the Difference


  • P. Rackow
  • U. Scholz
  • R. Hornung


Background. The facilitating role of social control and support for exercising is well documented. The dual effects model of social control presumes that social control is linked to better health behaviour, but also enhances negative well-being. Receiving social support has also been found to be negatively related to the well-being of the receiver. Results on health behaviour are equivocal. The study aims at testing the possibility of transferring the dual effects model to different kinds of received social support. Methods. Participants (N=182; 69.1% female; age: M=34.3, SD=11.1) filled out nine weekly online-questionnaires. Received Emotional (ESS) and instrumental social support (ISS), positive (PA) and negative affect (NA), and exercise behaviour were assessed. Multilevel modelling was applied. Findings. Both, ESS and ISS, were positively related to PA and negatively with NA. Only ISS was positively linked to exercise. Discussion. In contrast to the assumptions of the dual effects model, our results show positive associations of received social support on PA and exercising, but also highlight the distinct contribution of the received ESS and ISS on well-being and exercising.