Browsing by Subject "controlled motivation"

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  • Palsola, Minttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Adolescents continue to be affected by behavior-related health risk factors such as low levels of physical activity. They can be motivated to be more physically active in various ways, but they can also take agency in their own behavior change and use different behavior change techniques to manage and maintain their behavior. According to self-determination theory, the quality of motivation is key in behavior change, as fostering autonomous motivation should lead to long-lasting wellbeing-enhancing changes, whereas controlled motivation might have adverse effects. There is some evidence of the positive effects of the use of individual behavior change techniques on physical activity, but the effects of their use on motivational constructs is less studied. The aim of this thesis is to map the effects of (1) the use of individual self-motivating behavior change techniques on changes in physical activity-related autonomous and controlled motivation, (2) the total use of self-motivating behavior change techniques on changes in physical activity-related autonomous and controlled motivation, and (3) the total use of self-motivational behavior change techniques, and controlled and autonomous motivation on changes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. This thesis utilizes data from Let’s Move It, a cluster-randomized controlled trial of a school-based physical activity intervention (baseline N=767, post-intervention N=687). At both time points, participants self-reported use of three self-motivational techniques (reflecting on identity congruence, life values congruence and thinking about personal motives) on a scale from 1 to 6, and their autonomous and controlled motivation on a scale from 1 to 5. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was assessed with 7-day accelerometry. Their associations are analyzed with multivariate regression models corrected for age, gender and baseline levels of motivation or physical activity. The findings show that reflecting on life identity congruence (autonomous motivation; AM β=0.202, p<.001; controlled motivation; CM β=0.132, p<.001), life values congruence (AM β=0.184, p<.001; CM β=0.112, p<.001), and thinking about personal motives (AM β=0.246, p<.001; CM β=0.175, p<.001), as well as their total use (AM β=0.260, p<.001; CM β=0.157, p<.001), were all associated with both autonomous and controlled motivation. Total self-motivational behavior change technique use (β= -0.026, p=.617) and controlled motivation (β= -0.037, p=.373) had no detectable effects on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, but autonomous motivation (β=0.135, p<0.05) did. This thesis sheds light on the actions that individuals can take themselves to foster their motivation. Understanding how adolescents can self-motivate themselves can give insight into how to sustain a sense of autonomy while navigating through different life situations, and thus help to achieve long-lasting and wellbeing enhancing behaviors.