Resistance training and older adults’ beliefs about psychological benefits: The importance of self-efficacy and social interaction

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived psychological benefits and explore the mechanisms underlying the link between exercise and psychological well-being for a group of older adults (65-72 years; six women; four men) who participated in a 12-week moderate-high intensity resistance training program. They were interviewed in-depth at: one week pre-intervention; one month after commencement, and; one week after the completion of the intervention. The participants believed that resistance training enhanced their well-being and they gave various physical, mental, and social reasons to explain this link. In particular, self-efficacy and social interaction were found to be key mechanisms underlying this relationship. This study exposed meaningful perceived improvements in psychological well-being that have not been uncovered in quantitative studies of healthy older people undertaking resistance training. The findings highlight the importance of using qualitative methods to enrich understandings of the positive effect of exercise on psychological well-being. The findings also have implications for designing effective resistance training interventions for older people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-746
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume29
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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