Investigating Motivation for Physical Activity among Minority College Females using the BREQ-2
Adolescents who engage in regular physical activity experience increased academic performance and grades, improved academic behavior, such as time on task, as well as an increase in other factors that influence academic achievement. Despite physical activity recommendations, regular engagement in physical activity is still an issue among American adolescents. Furthermore, physically inactive lifestyles are highest among minority populations, lower socioeconomic groups, and women. Self Determination Theory provides a basis for investigating the cognitive, affective and motivational processes of physical activity. At present time, there is a dearth of research exploring motivation of physical activity among minority female college students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the type of motivation that is most strongly related to moderate physical activity, vigorous physical activity, strength training and stretching among college-aged African American females in an effort to consider ways to improve physical activity promotion efforts on a college campus. Students enrolled in a required basic studies physical education and wellness course at a southeastern state university were invited to participate in data collection activities. Participants were invited to complete the modified Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire (BREQ-2), a 19-item questionnaire designed to measure motivation for physical activity. Of the 1422 college students that agreed to participate, 54 identified themselves as a non-Caucasian female. Results offered limited support for the hypothesis that those who are extrinsically motivated would engage in more physical activity. Nevertheless, a required physical activity class for college students could potentially provide an opportunity for those who would otherwise be amotivated for physical activity to engage in regular physical activities.
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