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Efficacy, Adherence and Demographics

Self efficacy, personal efficacy, adherence, regulatory skills, music and demographics.
Lady lifting weights with trainer
© CQUniversity 2021

Self Efficacy

Self Efficacy takes on a central role in Bandura’s social cognitive theory.

Self Efficacy is a product of:

  • Expectations – perceived the ability to achieve a certain behaviour
  • Outcomes – expected success 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.

Stronger the self-efficacy, the more likely the individual will initiate and persist with a specific behavior.

Barring health factors, self-efficacy exerts a consistently powerful influence on the exercise behaviour of older adults.


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 more effective than lengthy educational sessions.


The use of 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.


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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