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personal goal structure and health behavior

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Winifred A Gebhardt
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This cross-sectional survey study had the aim of clarifying the relationships between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and non-drug-re-lated self-regulation problems (non-drug-related SRPs), including behavioral addictions, and the role of impulsive personality traits therein. Spanish university students (N = 329; Mage = 21.20) completed questionnaires for each of these constructs. Fitness and Bodybuilding LTPA was negatively associated with video gaming-related SRPs, r = -.13, p = .019, 95% CI (bootstrapped) [-.23, -.02], and positively associated with sex-related SRPs, r = .16, p = .005, 95% CI (bootstrapped) [.04, .30]. Endurance LTPA was associated with higher scores in eating-related SRPs, r = .17, p = .003, 95% CI (bootstrapped) [.02, .31]. The proportion of participants presenting scores above the clinically significant threshold in eating-related SRPs was 2.64 times higher for respondents in an Excessive Endurance LTPA cluster compared to the other respondents, Fisher's exact test, p = .017, OR = 3.10, 95% CI [1.26, 7.63], and the proportion of participants reporting vomiting to control weight was 2.12 times higher, Fisher's exact test, p = .040, OR = 2.43, 95% CI [1.06, 5.57]. The associations were largely independent of impulsive personality traits. We identified an elevated risk of eating pathology in a subgroup of participants with anomalously high participation in endurance physical activity. This overlap is consistent with the secondary dependence hypothesis of exercise addiction.
Winifred A Gebhardt
added a research item
Objective: Physical activity (PA) can improve well-being and health during older age. This study explored how life events influence PA patterns of older adults. Design: Seventeen interviews with older adults were conducted using a life history method. PA patterns during the life course were identified, including information on when, how and why changes in PA occurred. Results: Four different response patterns that affect PA patterns after life events (e.g. death of partner) were discerned as follows: 'I want to be physically active, but there are too many barriers', 'I have reached a point in my life where I do not have to be so active any more', 'I need to exercise now if I want to live the life I want' and 'I have always been active and cannot do without PA'. Which response pattern an older adult held was strongly related to PA development during earlier life (physical capital), and present and future self-conceptions. Conclusions: When developing interventions to enhance PA in older age, it is important to take into account the diversity of views on PA, based on physical capital and current and future self-conceptions. The life history method appeared valuable, providing a thorough understanding of changes in PA patterns.
Winifred A Gebhardt
added 29 research items
Objective: The main aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between acceptance and well-being in adolescents with chronic illness from a daily process perspective. Furthermore, we explored the role of daily experienced interference and facilitation of life goals by treatment goals as mediating mechanisms. Methods: Thirty-eight adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) or diabetes completed questionnaires assessing acceptance, negative life events and goal-related self-efficacy. Furthermore, an online diary assessing daily mood, daily experienced interference and facilitation of life goals by treatment goals was completed during three consecutive weeks. Results: Acceptance of illness was positively related to daily well-being, but unrelated to daily goal interference and facilitation. Furthermore, daily goal interference and facilitation were unrelated to same-day and next-day well-being. Conclusion: This study suggests that acceptance of illness plays an important role in the daily mood of adolescents with CF and diabetes. This relationship, however, was not mediated by daily experienced interference and facilitation of life goals by treatment goals. Further research is needed to determine whether interventions promoting acceptance are beneficial for adolescents with CF and diabetes.
Ambivalence can be viewed as a normal temporary psychological state in a decision process, for example, on quitting smoking. However, when ambivalence is still present after the decision has been made, it may undermine the motivation to stick to the decision. In smoking cessation, ambivalence can be expected to increase the risk for relapse. In a cohort of 352 ex-smokers, felt ambivalence measured at baseline was used to predict relapse after 1 month. Firstly, felt ambivalence was a predictor of relapse. Secondly, felt ambivalence moderated the strength of the relation between a psychological determinant of behaviour and actual behaviour: anticipated negative self-evaluative emotions only predicted relapse when felt ambivalence was low. Thirdly, the relation of felt ambivalence with relapse was partly mediated by ex-smokers' evaluations of risk situations (situations in which they used to smoke in the past). Ambivalence is related to relapse in different ways and in ex-smokers it may be conceptualized as a non-optimal decision process. Although the role of felt ambivalence needs further study, the data suggest that ambivalence must be taken into account in the practice of relapse prevention.
Objectives In this study, we tested whether high levels of daily worrying are associated with linking, a tendency to overvalue the attainment of specific lower level goals for attaining higher level goals, and more specifically the attainment of experiencing happiness.Methods Thirty-two patients suffering from work stress complaints and awaiting a stress management treatment and 31 healthy adults, who formed the comparison group, filled in a goal linking questionnaire and two widely used trait worry questionnaires. Subsequently, they reported the frequency and duration of worry during 14 consecutive days and nights.ResultsThe patients suffering from work stress complaints scored higher on the linking questionnaire and worried almost twice as much as the healthy comparison group, especially during the night-time. Furthermore, goal linking was a stronger predictor of the frequency and duration of worry in daily life than the trait worry questionnaires and this was independent of the observed group differences in daily worry.Conclusions These findings provide evidence that people who believe that their happiness is strongly dependent on the attainment of specific lower level goals worry frequently in daily life. Linking seems to be at least partly responsible for the excessive worry found in high work stress.Practitioner pointsWorry is elevated in patients seeking professional help for work stress complaints, compared to healthy controlsThe higher levels of worry in the patient group were related to elevated tendencies to overvalue the attainment of specific lower level goals as a means to attain higher level goals (‘linking’).It could be beneficial for high worriers to learn how to reduce linking tendencies.No strong inferences on the direction of the association between worry and linking can be made, as we relied on correlational data in which a linking questionnaire predicted worry in daily life.