Article review Exploring physical activity by ethnicity and gender in college students using social cognitive theory


Articlereview: Exploring physical activity by ethnicity and gender incollege students using social cognitive theory


Article review: Exploring physical activity by ethnicity and genderin college students using social cognitive theory

Nehl and colleagues(2012) performed a study to determine the effect of social cognitivetheory on physical activity. These researchers assumed that dimensionof social cognitive theory would determine physical activity for allstudents. Also, they believed that gender and ethnicity had asignificant influence in the prediction of physical activity usingthe social cognitive theory. SCT questionnaires were administered to610 students in two public universities. These questionnairesmeasured information related to the demographic characteristic,physical activity, SCT dimensions, self-efficacy, social modeling,social support, self-regulation, mood and perception of the campusrecreational facilities. The acquired data was then coded andanalyzed using statistical tools such as ANOVAs and Chi-square tests.According to their results, there was a significant high score ofself-efficacy, social support, vigor, and attitudes towards thephysical activity among the white students compared to the blackstudent. Also, male sex displayed the high significance of thesedimensions than the female sex.

The authors of this article integrated self-regulated teaching andlearning to promote students’ achievement orientation and tofacilitate intrinsic motivation for successful learning. This studyrevealed that self-regulated learning instruction may contribute toimproving students’ spontaneous learning desire by increasing theirenjoyment and ability to perform more effectively. The dimensionof self-regulatory in SCT framework includes behaviors such asself-rewarding, goal setting, self-monitoring, and self-assessment.The self-regulatory approach demands a correlation between physicalactivity and self-efficacy. Self-regulation in SCT model integratesthese behaviors. Each of the constructs within SCT, outcomesexpectations, sociostructural factors, self-regulation, andself-efficacy plays a significant role in understanding, explainingand predicting human behavior (Evans 2011, 168-186). Inthe context of physical activity, the expected outcomes from thestudy suggest beliefs that physical activity will bring aboutparticular results such as improved student success. People whobelieve that desired outcomes are determined by their behavior suchas physical activity are much likely to be engaged than those whohave fatalistic perspectives. Therefore, the controllability ofoutcomes is connected to personal efficacy. Without self-efficacy,outcomes expectations alone fail to motivate consistent behavior.

This research hadsome strength and weakness. First, it was a randomized controlledstudy it considered cognitive function as a determinant of physicalactivity adherence in younger adults. This study is critical tostudent performance because younger adults in most universities arethe fasted segment of the population that are impacted by issuesconcerning personal, family, and societal burden. This study presentspotentially effective education approach for younger adults. Thesample size presented a study limitation. The sample size wasrelatively small, given the SCT modeling analyzes conducted. Thesample size remained too small to assess the relationship of themanifest executive function variables with self-regulatory strategyuse. The study suggests a relationship between cognitive performance,flexibility and self-regulatory. However, the study does notdifferentiate executive function to self-regulation. A future studyinto warranting the inclusion of measures of more basic aspects ofself-regulation such as autonomic function and stress physiology willbe interesting. It would also be beneficial to include betteroperationalization of self-regulatory capacity.


Evans, n. J. (2011). Psychosocial and cognitive-structuralperspective on student development. In J. H. Schuh, S. R. Jones,&amp S. R. Harper (Eds.). Student services: A handbook for theprofession (5th ed, 168-186). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley &ampSons.

Nehl, E. J, Blanchard, C. M, Kupperman, J., Sparling P, Rhodes, R.,Torabi, M. R &amp Courneya, K. S. (2012). Exploring physicalactivity by ethnicity and gender in college students using socialcognitive theory. Journal of Research in Health, PhysicalEducation. 7 (2): 11-17