Examining relationships of self-efficacy, performance attainments, and outcome achievement over a 1 year exercise program

  • A. Selzler
  • W. Rodgers
  • T. Berry
  • C. Hall


Background: In Social Cognitive Theory, Bandura states that self-efficacy will lead to performance attainments, which in turn will lead to outcome expectancies. The purpose of this research is to test this sequence in individuals participating in an exercise program. Methods: Adult participants (30-65 years old) enrolled in a supervised exercise program 3 days per week for 1 year completed assessments of self-efficacy (task, coping, scheduling), performance attainments (change in: body fat percent, lean mass, VO2 max, chest press, leg press), and outcome achievement (i.e., noticing changes in physical appearance, strength, health, affect) at baseline, 6, and 12 months. In total, 276 participants began the exercise program with 156 and 104 participants completing assessments at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Path analytic models were tested at 6 months and 12 months such that self-efficacy predicted performance attainments and outcome achievement, and performance attainments predicted outcome achievement. Findings: At 6 and 12 months, scheduling self-efficacy significantly predicted outcome achievement (β’s=.28 and .34, respectively); however, performance attainments did not. At 6 months, task self-efficacy significantly predicted change in body fat percent (β=.27) and VO2 (β=.20), while coping self-efficacy significantly predicted change in leg press (β=.27). Discussion: While people more confident in scheduling exercise had greater perceptions of outcome achievement, the effect cannot be explained by performance attainments. The lack of association between performance attainments and outcome achievements suggests that the level of performance attainments achieved during the exercise program may not have been noticeable enough to impact perceptions of outcome achievement.
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