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|Title:||The Effects of Goal Setting on Adherence to an 8-Week Fitness Challenge, Goal Confidence, and Improvements in Physical Fitness|
|Authors:||Elston, Tara-Lyn G.|
|Advisor:||Martin Ginis, Kathleen A.|
|Abstract:||<p>Goal setting is widely used in the physical activity domain and is generally believed to enhance performance (Gould, 1993; Pemberton & McSwegin, 1989; Weinberg, 1982). Although goal setting is an effective strategy for improving performance in exercise contexts (e.g., Boyce & Wayda, 1994), specific moderating variables may need to be taken into consideration when implementing a goal-setting intervention. For example, exercise experience (beginners vs. experienced) and goal-setting type (self-set vs. assigned vs. no goals/"do your best") can significantly impact the influence of goals on exercise behaviour (Boyce & Wayda, 1994; Dawson, 2001; Dawson & Brawley, 2000; Martin et al., 1984). It is not known however, if the people with different levels of exercise experience benefit differentially from the various goal-setting types. This issue was addressed in the present thesis. Using an experimental design, 149 men and women with various levels of exercise experience participated in a fitness centre challenge. The effects of exercise experience and goal-setting type (self-set vs. assigned vs. no goals/"do your best") were examined on changes in physiological fitness and adherence over an eight-week period. Additionally, goal confidence and future goal-setting preferences were assessed.</p> <p>A manipulation check found that most of the participants in the no goal/"do your best" group set goals for the challenge despite not being asked to do so and were re-categorized into the self-set goal group for analyses. The no goal/"do your best" control condition was dropped due to the extremely low n that remained. An ANCOV A revealed no significant main effect or interaction for exercise experience and goal-setting type on adherence (p>.05). A series of univariate ANCOV As adjusted for baseline fitness scores revealed a main effect for physiological changes with experienced exercisers scoring higher on the grip strength test than beginner exercisers (p<.05). Additionally, there was an exercise experience x goal-setting type interaction with experienced exercisers scoring significantly higher on the grip strength test when goals were self-set rather than assigned (p<.05). Goal confidence was analyzed using an ANCOVA, and a main effect was found with participants in the assigned goal-setting condition showing higher levels of goal confidence than participants in the self-set goal condition (p<.05). The results of this study suggest that overall, assigned goals will lead to greater goal confidence. However, experienced exercisers may have greater performance gains on certain tasks (e.g., grip strength) when they self-set their own goals. These results have implications for the development of goal-setting interventions in physical activity settings.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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