Recruitment of insufficiently active individuals into exercise interventions is difficult due to many different barriers, including motivational barriers and negative body image. The present study provided an initial conceptual test of whether self-affirmation can help increase recruitment of insufficiently active women to an exercise intervention. Emerging adult women were randomly assigned to complete a self-affirmation or control task prior to reading the same message concerning the consequences of inactivity. In addition to completing demographic and body image measures at baseline, U.S. undergraduate participants (N = 254) indicated their interest in registering for an intervention and their intention to exercise after the experimental manipulation. Data did not support hypotheses that (1) self-affirmed women would find the message less threatening and less manipulative, (2) self-affirmed women would have higher intentions to exercise, (3) self-affirmed women would be more likely to register interest for a future exercise intervention, and (4) condition and body dissatisfaction would interact such that the intervention would be particularly beneficial for women with high body dissatisfaction. Results revealed that 70% of participants were unwilling to register for an exercise intervention, which indicates that other novel exercise intervention recruitment techniques need to be tested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology