Introjected regulation has been inconsistently linked to physical activity, which may be due to it being an umbrella construct for different types of introjected regulation that have the potential to be differentially related to behavior. We evaluated (1) whether self-oriented approach, self-oriented avoidance, other-oriented approach, and other-oriented avoidance were distinct constructs from one another and from identified regulation, and (2) whether the following were related to physical activity engagement from strongest to weakest: self-oriented approach, self-oriented avoidance, other-oriented approach, and other-oriented avoidance. Behavioral regulations were measured at baseline, physical activity was measured via self-report at baseline and follow-up, and using daily diaries (N = 336). A factor analysis revealed a four-factor solution: general approach, self-oriented avoidance, other-oriented avoidance, and identified regulation. Self-oriented avoidance was the strongest predictor of physical activity, followed by general approach, and other-oriented avoidance. Including measures that capture these subdimensions of introjected regulation in future research has the potential to clarify inconsistent relationships in the literature.
- physical activity
- self-determination theory