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IJSEP, 2009, 6, 89-100 Goal Setting and Exercise Motivation © 2009 ISSP effect of goal SettIng on motIVatIon and adherence In a SIx-Week exercISe program kylie wilson1 and darren Brookfield2 University of Wales Institute Cardiff, UK 1 EdgeHill University College, UK 2 abStract The aim of the study was to utilize a goal-setting intervention to examine the impact on motivation and adherence during a six-week exercise program. Sixty recreational exercisers (M age = 31.17, SD age = 11.77; 33 Males; 27 Females) were randomly assigned to a process goal group (n = 15), an outcome goal group (n = 15), and a no-goal control group (n = 30). Participants completed the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (McAuley et al., 1989) at the beginning and end of the six-week exercise program and adherence was monitored throughout the program and at three and six months. Repeated Measures ANOVA results indicated that the participants in the process goal group scored significantly higher interest/enjoyment and perceived choice, significantly lower pressure/tension, and had significantly greater adher- ence compared to the outcome goal and control groups. Keywords: process goals, outcome goals, intervention The physiological (Blair, Cheng, & Holder, 2001) and psychological (Biddle, Fox, & Boutcher, 2000) benefits of regular physical activity are widely recognized (Nieman, 1998). However, recent research has shown that over 50% of individuals who take part in a fitness program will drop out after the first six months (Berger, Pargman, & Weinberg, 2002; Matsumoto & Tekenaka, 2004). Phillips, Schnider, and Mercer (2004) suggested that primary reasons given by exercisers for dropping out of an exercise program were (a) failure, (b) lack of improvement, and (c) changes in motivation. Goal setting is a common tool within organizational/industrial/sport settings to enhance moti- vation (Locke & Latham, 1985). The aim of the current study was to utilize a goal-setting intervention to examine the impact upon motivation for, and adherence to, a six-week exercise program. This research was underpinned by Self-Determination Theory (Deci, 1975, Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002). Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci, 1975, Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2002) is a sub- theory of Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET; Deci & Ryan, 1985) and predicts that events Corresponding author: Dr. Kylie Wilson, Cardiff School of Sport, University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC), Cardiff CF23 6XD, UK. Tel: 02920 416327, Fax: 02920 416768, Email: email@example.com 89 89 K. Wilson and D. Brookfield that enhance self-determination and competence will facilitate intrinsic motivation. SDT forecasts th
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