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Edmunds, J., Ntoumanis, N., & Duda, J.L. (2007). Adherence and well-being in overweight and obese patients referred to an exercise on prescription scheme: A self-determination theory perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8, 722–740.

Objectives: Based on Self-Determination Theory [SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985. Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press], this study examined differences in perceived autonomy support, psychological need satisfaction, self-determined motivation, exercise behaviour, exercise-related cognitions and general well-being, between overweight/obese individuals who demonstrated greater adherence to an exercise on prescription programme and those who adhered less. In addition, this study explored the motivational sequence embedded in SDT by testing autonomy support as a predictor of psychological need satisfaction, autonomy support and psychological need satisfaction as predictors of the motivational regulations, and autonomy support, psychological need satisfaction and the motivational regulations as predictors of behavioural, cognitive and well-being outcomes.
Method: Before commencing, at 1-month, and upon terminating a 3-month exercise on prescription programme, overweight/obese individuals (N 49; M Body Mass Index 38.75) completed a multisection questionnaire tapping all aforementioned variables. Participants’ adherence to the scheme was assessed using attendance records.
Results: Multilevel regression analyses revealed that, at the end of the exercise prescription, those individuals who adhered more reported more self-efficacy to overcome barriers to exercise versus those who adhered less. In addition, those individuals who showed greater adherence demonstrated an increase in relatedness need satisfaction over time. For the whole sample, need satisfaction predicted self-determined regulation, and collectively, these constructs corresponded to adaptive exercise related outcomes and general well-being throughout the programme.
Conclusions: Based on the results it appears that exercise on prescription schemes would benefit fromcreating services that foster self-determination via the facilitation of psychological need satisfaction.

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Markland, D. (1999). Self-determination moderates the effects of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation in an exercise setting. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 21, 350-360.

According to E. L. Deci and R. M. Ryan's (1985) self-determination theory, perceptions of self-determination (SD) moderate the effects of perceived competence on intrinsic motivation (IM), with perceived competence only positively influencing IM under conditions of some SD. R. J. Vallerand's (1997) hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation suggests that SD and competence have only independent effects on IM. The aim of this study was to test these competing models. 146 women aerobics Ss (mean age 31.51 yrs) completed measures of SD, perceived competence, and IM for exercise. Moderated hierarchical regression revealed a significant interactive effect of SD and perceived competence. A plot of the regression of IM on perceived competence under conditions of high and low SD, however, showed that the interaction did not take the expected form. Variations in perceived competence positively influenced IM only under conditions of low SD. This suggests that it is particularly important to foster perceptions of competence among individuals low in SD.

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Markland, D. & Hardy, L. (1997). On the factorial and construct validity of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory: Conceptual and operational concerns. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 68, 20-32.

The Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI) has been gaining acceptance in the sport and exercise domain since the publication of papers by McAuley, Duncan and Tammen (1989) and McAuley, Wraith and Duncan (1991) which reported confirmatory support for the factorial validity of a hierarchical model of intrinsic motivation. This paper argues that the results of these studies did not conclusively support the hierarchical model and that the model did not accurately reflect the tenets of cognitive evaluation theory (CET: Deci & Ryan, 1985) from which the IMI is drawn. It is also argued that a measure of perceived locus of causality is required to properly model intrinsic motivation. The development of a perceived locus of causality for exercise scale is described and alternative models, in which perceived competence and perceived locus of causality are held to have causal influences on intrinsic motivation, are compared with an oblique confirmatory factor analytic model in which the constructs are held at the same conceptual level. Structural equation modelling showed support for a causal model in which perceived locus of causality mediates the effects of perceived competence on pressure-tension, interest-enjoyment, and effort-importance. It is argued that conceptual and operational problems with the IMI as currently used should be addressed before it becomes established as the instrument of choice for assessing levels of intrinsic motivation.

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Markland, D. & Tobin, V.J. (2010). Need support and behavioural regulations for exercise among exercise referral scheme clients: The mediating role of psychological need satisfaction. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 91-99.

Objectives: Based on predictions drawn from self-determination theory (SDT: Deci & Ryan, 2000, The‘‘what’’ and the ‘‘why’’ of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268) this study examined specific differential mediating effects of psychological need satisfaction in the relation between support for psychological needs and the internalization of behavioural regulation for exercise.
Methods: 133 former female exercise referral scheme clients (mean age 54.51) completed measures of need support provided by their exercise practitioners, satisfaction of the psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness, the latter including measures of interpersonal relatedness and social assimilation, and behavioural regulations for exercise.
Results: Multiple mediator regression analyses showed that when need support promoted autonomy andsocial assimilation, individuals were less amotivated and less externally regulated. Fostering personal relatedness whilst not fostering autonomy was associated with greater introjected regulation but promoting social assimilation served to partially offset this negative effect. When need support facilitated autonomy, competence and personal relatedness, identified regulation was promoted. Satisfaction of autonomy and competence needs mediated the association between need support and intrinsic regulation.
Conclusions: The results support the central role afforded to autonomy in SDT and indicate that autonomy does not have to be actively undermined in order to forestall the internalization process. In practical terms, in addition to promoting autonomy and competence, exercise practitioners should help referral schemes clients to assimilate into the social environment of exercise facilities as well as ensuring that they receive more direct interpersonal support.

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Silva, M.N., Markland, D.A., Minderico, C.S., Vieira, P.N., Castro, M.M., Coutinho, S.R., Santos, T.C., Matos. M.G., Sardinha, L.B. & Teixeira, P.J. (2008). A randomized controlled trial to evaluate Self-Determination Theory for exercise adherence and weight control: Rationale and intervention description. BMC Public Health, 8, 234.

Background: Research on the motivational model proposed by Self-Determination Theory (SDT) provides theoretically sound insights into reasons why people adopt and maintain exercise and other health behaviors, and allows for a meaningful analysis of the motivational processes involved in behavioral self-regulation. Although obesity is notoriously difficult to reverse and its recidivism is high, adopting and maintaining a physically active lifestyle is arguably the most effective strategy to counteract it in the long-term. The purposes of this study are twofold: i) to describe a 3-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) aimed at testing a novel obesity treatment program based on SDT, and ii) to present the rationale behind SDT's utility in facilitating and explaining health behavior change, especially physical activity/exercise, during obesity treatment.
Methods: Study design, recruitment, inclusion criteria, measurements, and a detailed description of the intervention (general format, goals for the participants, intervention curriculum, and main SDT strategies) are presented. The intervention consists of a 1-year group behavioral program for overweight and moderately obese women, aged 25 to 50 (and pre-menopausal), recruited from the community at large through media advertisement. Participants in the intervention group meet weekly or bi-weekly with a multidisciplinary intervention team (30 2 h sessions in total), and go through a program covering most topics considered critical for successful weight control. These topics and especially their delivery were adapted to comply with SDT and Motivational Interviewing guidelines. Comparison group receive a general health education curriculum. After the program, all subjects are follow-up for a period of 2 years.
Discussion: Results from this RCT will contribute to a better understanding of how motivational characteristics, particularly those related to physical activity/exercise behavioral self-regulation, influence treatment success, while exploring the utility of Self-Determination Theory for promoting health behavior change in the context of obesity.

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Silva, M.N., Markland, D.A., Vieira, P.N., Coutinho, S.R., Carraca, E.V., Palmeira, A.L., Minderico, C.S., Matos. M.G., Sardinha, L.B. & Teixeira, P.J. (In press). Helping overweight women become more active: Need support and motivational regulations for different forms of physical activity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

Objectives: This study analyzed mechanisms by which a one-year obesity treatment intervention based on self-determination theory (SDT) influenced physical activity level and whether motivational predictors differed for structured vs. lifestyle forms of physical activity.
Design: Randomized controlled trial lasting 1-year.
Method: Pre-menopausal overweight and obese women (n = 239; 37.6 _ 7.1 y; 31.5 _ 4.1 kg/m2) participated in a group intervention designed to increase physical activity and motivation, following SDT. Partial least squares (PLS) latent variable modeling was used to test a cross-sectional multiple-level mediation model comprising experimentally-manipulated contextual need support, perceived need satisfaction, and motivational regulations for two distinct forms of physical activity.
Results: The structural model explained a large amount of variance (62%) for intrinsic motivation, and moderate amounts of variance (16-25%) for the remaining regulations and exercise behaviors. Moderate and vigorous exercise was positively influenced by intrinsic motivation (p < .001) whereas lifestyle physical activity was not significantly predicted by motivational regulations. Behavioral regulations were
influenced by perceived autonomy and perceived competence and both needs were affected by contextual support from treatment climate (p < .001).
Conclusions: Results provide support for using the SDT framework to understand physical activity motivational processes in the context of weight management. Results also highlight structured and lifestyle physical activity as being promoted by different processes as a result of the intervention: more direct effects on lifestyle physical activity and indirect effects on structured exercise, mediated by intrinsic motivation.

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