1 California State University, Stanislaus, CA, USA
2 University of California, Merced, CA, USA
To examine the impact of health-related social control tactics on the physical activity behavior of college students.
110 undergraduates (74% women) recorded their naturalistic behavior across eight consecutive days between March and May of 2010.
A short-term longitudinal daily diary survey examined daily self-reports of received health-related social control (the direct regulation of a target’s health behaviors by a social partner) and minutes engaged in physical activity.
Multilevel modeling according to a two-level structure in which observations (Level 1) were nested within individuals (Level 2) revealed that positive social control for exercise (e.g., encouragement) had a positive effect on physical activity participation, both within-persons (intra-individual level) and between-persons (inter-individual level). Negative social control (e.g., nagging) had no effect on physical activity participation.
The present results suggest that individuals should employ positive social control tactics when attempting to enhance the physical activity behaviors of college students.
Keyword: Health-related social control, Physical activity, Daily diary, Young adults, Multilevel modeling, Chronic illness.
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