Over the last century, the United States saw a steady increase in obesity rates and the growth of a commercial weight loss industry that topped $62 billion in 2012 with markers indicating ongoing growth rate. The commercial weight loss industry followed a behavioral approach to weight loss that focused on changing lifestyle, such as diet and physical activity, to promote changes in body weight. This approach has been effective but limited, helping approximately 20 percent of individuals seeking to lose weight. A new idea was to add an understanding of motivation, as outlined by self-determination theory, to existing weight loss program models. The research question asked what was the relationship between the quality of motivation participants in commercial, non-medicalized weight loss programs experienced and the perceived level of autonomy support those participants received from their weight loss program? The research hypothesis stated when individuals had a higher quality of motivation and perceived their commercial weight loss programs as autonomy supportive, individuals would have a greater sense of volition for weight loss, thereby maintaining the loss. This study aimed to inform our understanding of the quality of motivation change-seekers had for participating in commercial weight loss programs, which would allow weight loss counselors to better understand the motivational orientation of their clients.
This quantitative, cross-sectional study utilized the Treatment Self-Regulation Questionnaire and Health Care Climate Questionnaire, which were disseminated online in the United States to adults who were enrolled in one of three commercial weight loss programs that offered a counseling or support component: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystems. Participants were 127 adults (F=117, M=10). The relationship between the quality of motivation and perceived autonomy support by providers showed a strong correlation at 12-14 weeks (R = .808, p < .001) and moderate at 20-22 weeks (R = .377, p < .05). A multiple regression analysis indicated a predictive effect of demographic variables on weight loss F(6, 116) = 10.748, p < .001. A stepwise regression analysis showed BMI had the greatest impact on weight loss accounting for 20% of the variance (R2 = .20), with the autonomous subscale accounting for an additional 7% (R2 = .27). The actual weight difference between BMI and autonomous was .3 pounds per person, or a 21% difference, suggesting that autonomy played an important role in predicting weight loss. Overall implications of the study suggested that individuals who were more autonomous in their quality of motivation lost more weight than those who had a higher controlled quality of motivation. Additionally, those who perceived their weight loss program as autonomy supportive lost more weight independent of their quality of motivation.
|Advisor:||Linnenberg, Daniel M.|
|School:||University of Rochester|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Social psychology, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||Autonomy, Commercial, Self-Determination Theory, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Counseling|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be