Received Partner Support, Self-efficacy and Their Interplay: Changes in Physical Activity in Patients With Obesity


  • D.H. Hohl
  • S. Burkert
  • J. Keller
  • U. Elbelt
  • T. Schütz
  • N. Knoll


Increasing regular physical activity (PA) plays a central role in the treatment of obesity. Unfortunately, patients have difficulties engaging in PA. In accordance with the enabling hypothesis of support, we assumed that received partner support increases patients’ self-efficacy (SE) beliefs and therefore fosters their PA. A total of 91 patients (age 21-74; 78% female) with obesity reported on received partner support, motivational, maintenance, and recovery SE and PA at 3 assessments, each 3 months apart. Autoregressive models with cross-lagged effects showed that T1 support was associated with increases in T2 motivational and maintenance SE. However, T2 support was related with decreases in T3 maintenance and recovery SE. Finally, T1 motivational and maintenance SE had positive effects on T2 PA, whereas T2 recovery SE was related with higher T3 PA. Results indicate that received support may initially be helpful by increasing motivational and maintenance SE. Later, when sustaining PA, support may weaken maintenance and recovery SE. Patients with obesity may thus benefit more from support at earlier stages of behavior change while at later stages other resources may be needed.