Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Temporal Discounting and its Effect on Exercise Behavior in Elders
by Tate, Linda Marie, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2015, 94; 3704069
Abstract (Summary)

Background & Significance: One in eight Americans is over age 65 and of these, 80% have at least one chronic illness. Regular exercise is one of the most important behaviors to prevent chronic disease and promote health among older adults, yet nearly 85% fail to achieve national health organizations’ recommended requirements. The literature shows that we must find ways of predicting exercise behavior in order to come up with solutions to increase exercise behavior in older adults.

Specific Aims: 1) Determine if an additional variable, temporal discounting, affects the predictability of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) among older adults. 2) Determine if temporal discounting rates vary between exercising and non-exercising older adults.

Methodology: 137 community dwelling older adults aged 60-77 were recruited and placed into either the exercising or non-exercising group. Questionnaires were administered to collect demographics, exercise behavior, temporal discounting, as well as, all the constructs of the TPB. The constructs included attitude toward exercise, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control and intention to exercise.

Results: Attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control had a strong predictive effect on exercise intention and accounted for 47% of the variance in the model which predicted exercise. Behavioral intention was the most important variable in predicting exercise accounting for 49% of the total effect. However, temporal discounting was not a significant predictor and accounted for only 6.4% of the total effect. When comparing temporal discounting rates between exercisers and non-exercisers, it was found that exercisers have 3.32 times lower discounting rates than non-exercisers (t = 4.028, p = 0.000).

Conclusion: The TPB is a decent predictor of exercise however it is not 100% effective. The addition of temporal discounting added little to the predictability of the model possibly due to the overlap with intention In addition other variables should be considered in future studies. However, when looking at discounting rates between exercisers and non-exercisers, a significant difference was noted. Thus, more research should be conducted with these groups to determine what types of incentives would motivate older adults with higher discounting levels to get involved and maintain exercise behavior.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tsai, Pao-Feng
Commitee: Bryant, Keneshia, Landes, Reid, Lefler, Leanne, Resnick, Barbara, Rettiganti, Mallikarjuna Rao
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Nursing Science
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Exercise, Older adults, Temporal discounting, Theory of planned behavior
Publication Number: 3704069
ISBN: 978-1-321-76225-9
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