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Antecedents of Exercise Dependence in Ultra-Endurance Sports: Reduced Basic Need Satisfaction and Avoidance-Motivated Self-Control


Schüler, Julia; Knechtle, Beat; Wegner, Mirko (2018). Antecedents of Exercise Dependence in Ultra-Endurance Sports: Reduced Basic Need Satisfaction and Avoidance-Motivated Self-Control. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1275.

Abstract

Initiating and maintaining sports and exercise behavior are usually discussed in terms of strategies for promoting health. In the present study, we analyzed a sample of extreme endurance sport athletes and set out to predict exercise addiction, which is a facet of a sport-related health risk. We therefore draw on self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985, 2000), according to which low basic psychological need satisfaction can lead to excessive compensatory behavior. We aim to disentangle the effects of need satisfaction in the activity itself (exercising) and outside the activity (work/leisure) on exercise addiction. Furthermore, we propose anxious self-motivation as a mediator and tested whether it links low basic need satisfaction with exercise dependence. A correlational study with 323 multi-triathlon athletes confirmed our hypothesis that need satisfaction in work/leisure (but not in sports) is negatively related to exercise addiction. Furthermore, only need for competence in both domains (sport, work/leisure) is associated with anxious self-motivation. Mediation models showed that low competence satisfaction leads to anxious self-motivation that in turn predicts exercise addiction. The results are discussed critically in terms of their practical and theoretical implications for promoting health through sport and exercise.

Abstract

Initiating and maintaining sports and exercise behavior are usually discussed in terms of strategies for promoting health. In the present study, we analyzed a sample of extreme endurance sport athletes and set out to predict exercise addiction, which is a facet of a sport-related health risk. We therefore draw on self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan, 1985, 2000), according to which low basic psychological need satisfaction can lead to excessive compensatory behavior. We aim to disentangle the effects of need satisfaction in the activity itself (exercising) and outside the activity (work/leisure) on exercise addiction. Furthermore, we propose anxious self-motivation as a mediator and tested whether it links low basic need satisfaction with exercise dependence. A correlational study with 323 multi-triathlon athletes confirmed our hypothesis that need satisfaction in work/leisure (but not in sports) is negatively related to exercise addiction. Furthermore, only need for competence in both domains (sport, work/leisure) is associated with anxious self-motivation. Mediation models showed that low competence satisfaction leads to anxious self-motivation that in turn predicts exercise addiction. The results are discussed critically in terms of their practical and theoretical implications for promoting health through sport and exercise.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Psychology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:24 Aug 2018 13:49
Last Modified:31 Aug 2018 23:52
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01275
PubMed ID:30131734

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