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Self Efficacy

Self Efficacy takes on a central role in Bandura’s social cognitive theory. It refers to an individual's belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one's own motivation, behaviour and social environment.
Lady lifting weights with trainer
© CQUniversity 2021

Self Efficacy

Self Efficacy takes on a central role in Bandura’s social cognitive theory. It refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997). Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behaviour and social environment.

Self Efficacy is a product of:

  • Expectations – the perceived ability to achieve a certain behaviour
  • Outcomes – expected results the behaviour will provide.
Expectations mediate all behavioural change:
  • Determine whether an individual attempts a given task
  • The degree of persistence when the difficulty is encountered
  • Outcomes – ultimate success or failure.

Personal Efficacy

Based on 4 major sources of information:

  • Performance experience or mastery – did activity or similar previously and had success
  • Vicarious or observational experience of others –see others enjoying themselves while engaging in activity
  • Verbal persuasion – encouraged by others already doing the activity
  • Emotional and physiological states – in the right frame of mind or physical condition.
The stronger the self-efficacy, the more likely the individual will initiate and persist with a specific behaviour.
Barring health factors, self-efficacy exerts a consistently powerful influence on the exercise behaviour of older adults.

Adherence

Adherence increases with:

  • Perceived social support
  • Those who see high value in physical health
  • Those who associate pleasure with an exercise session
  • Those who exercise frequently rather than spasmodically
  • Group cohesiveness results in significantly higher adherence rates, especially in older women.
Majority of research confirms:
Self efficacy beliefs are critical to the initial adoption of an exercise routine but pleasure and satisfaction are more important for sustaining that behaviour.

Regulatory Skills

Certain self-regulatory skills appear to benefit adherence:

  • Goal setting
  • Monitoring progress
  • Self-reinforcement – intrinsic motivation.
Prompting by session organisers is also important especially in initial stages of regular exercise – emails, texts, telephone counselling.
Simple prompts are more effective than lengthy educational sessions.

Music in exercise programs:

  • Enhances the experience
  • Adds interest
  • Facilitates adherence
  • Lessens perceptions of difficulty, monotony, and exercise discomfort
  • Older adults showed a preference for instrumental music.
Recommended Reading:
Musical exercise: A novel strategy for advancing healthy aging
The effect of instrumental and vocal music on adherence to a physical rehabilitation program
© CQUniversity 2021
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Personal Trainer's Toolkit: Developing Fitness Programs for Older People

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