Social Cognitive Theory Associated with Physical Activity in Undergraduate Students: A Cross-sectional Study

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Sonthaya Sriramatr
Supaporn Silalertdeskul
Panuwat Wachirathanin


             In this study we tested Social Cognitive Theory constructs to predict physical activity levels in undergraduate students. A cross-sectional design was conducted with a sample of 787 health science and non-health science undergraduate students (241 males and 546 females) studying at Srinakharinwirot University, Ongkharak Campus, Thailand. Participants completed four questionnaires measuring three Social Cognitive Theory variables (exercise-related self-efficacy, outcome expectations and self-regulation) and one physical activity variable (leisure-time physical activity). All of the Social Cognitive Theory variables were significantly correlated with physical activity. Self-efficacy had the highest correlation coefficient followed by self-regulation and outcome expectations, respectively. Inter-correlations among Social Cognitive Theory variables were moderate. All of the variables contributed a significant portion of the variance, were retained in the model, and accounted for 29% of the variance in physical activity. The influence of self-efficacy on physical activity was partially mediated by both self-regulation and outcome expectations. The results indicate that Social Cognitive Theory constructs can be used to predict physical activity in undergraduate students. Health practitioners such as nurses can use these constructs to try to effect changes in physical activity behaviour among undergraduate students and design physical activity intervention program that focus on increases self-efficacy, self-regulation and outcome expectations to promote physical activity in undergraduate students. 

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Sriramatr S, Silalertdeskul S, Wachirathanin P. Social Cognitive Theory Associated with Physical Activity in Undergraduate Students: A Cross-sectional Study. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2016 Apr. 27 [cited 2022 Jul. 5];20(2):95-105. Available from:
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