Designing Theory-based Curriculum to Positively Affect Psychosocial Variables for Weight Loss in College Students

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Title: Designing Theory-based Curriculum to Positively Affect Psychosocial Variables for Weight Loss in College Students
Creators: Thall, Michelle
Advisor: Buckworth, Janet
Issue Date: 2012-02
Abstract: The percent of overweight/obese college students increased from 20.5% to 33.5% between 1995 and 2010. This growing segment of our college population is both understudied and underserved. The purpose of this multi-phase study was to investigate the feasibility of an academic class to promote exercise and weight loss by targeting theory-based psychosocial variables. One section of a Conditioning Principles academic class was re-designed to positively change psychosocial variables related to exercise, while maintaining required class content. The teaching strategies were based on assumptions from Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and focused on increasing intrinsic motivation and improving self-efficacy for exercise. Students self-selected into the intervention section or one of two standard sections. Comparison classes were used to evaluate the effects of the intervention on proposed mediators of exercise behavior beyond changes achieved through the existing curriculum. Students completed questionnaires to assess motivational regulations, self-efficacies, eating behaviors, social support for exercise, body image, and physical activity during the first and last weeks of a 10-week academic term. Height and weight were also used to examine possible moderating effects of BMI. This paper presents the study design, procedures, and a detailed intervention plan, including teaching strategies and associated target variables. If results indicate the revised class positively influenced exercise mediators, supplementing standard curriculum with SDT strategies could improve college student health and fitness. Further, insight into the moderating effect of BMI status on the mediating variables would enable tailoring of academic classes to the needs of overweight/obese students.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: 2012. Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 26th
Keywords: exercise
Description: Education and Human Ecology: 1st Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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