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Health-enhancing physical activity and eudaimonic well-being

dc.contributor.advisorKowalski, Kenten_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGyurcsik, Nancyen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberLawson, Karenen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberJanzen, Bonnieen_US
dc.creatorBesenski, Leah Joanneen_US 2009en_US
dc.description.abstractNumerous studies have investigated the relationship between physical activity and physiological health (e.g., Burke et al., 2006; Irwin, 2004). Less attention has been paid to the contribution of physical activity on psychological well-being (Fox et al., 2000), and more specifically eudaimonic well-being, which reflects optimal psychological functioning and development at one’s maximum potential (Ryff, 1989, 1995). This study investigated the role that health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA; any form of physical activity that benefits health and functional capacity; Miilunpalo et al., 2000) plays in eudaimonic well-being, which Ryff conceptualizes in terms of six dimensions: (1) Autonomy (i.e., being self-determined and independent); (2) Environmental Mastery (i.e., having a sense of mastery and competence in managing the environment); (3) Personal Growth (i.e., having a feeling of continued development); (4) Positive Relations with Others (i.e., having warm, satisfying, and trusting relationships with others); (5) Purpose in Life (i.e., having goals and a sense of direction in life); and, (6) Self-acceptance (i.e., possessing a positive attitude toward the self). Employing Ryff’s (1989, 1995) perspective of eudaimonic well-being, this study explored whether or not experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA moderates the relationship between HEPA and eudaimonic well-being. Additionally, it explored whether or not the relationship between experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA and eudaimonic well-being is mediated by basic need satisfaction. Undergraduate university students (N = 524; Mage = 20.7 years) completed an online survey including the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (Ryff & Keyes, 1995), the Short Questionnaire to Assess Health-enhancing Physical Activity (Wendel-Vos et al., 2003), the Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives for Activity scale (Huta & Ryan, 2008), and the Psychological Need Satisfaction in Exercise Scale (Wilson, Rogers, et al., 2006). While level of HEPA was not significantly related to eudaimonic well-being (r = .05, p = .24), experiencing hedonia during HEPA (i.e., enjoying oneself, experiencing pleasure; r = .40, p < .01), experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA (r = .37, p < .01), and basic need satisfaction (r = .46, p < .01) were significantly related to eudaimonic well-being. Although experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA did not moderate the relationship between HEPA and eudaimonic well-being, experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA accounted for a significant 2.2% unique variance in eudaimonic well-being beyond HEPA and experiencing hedonia during HEPA (the full model accounted for a significant 18.2% of the variance in eudaimonic well-being). Furthermore, the data were consistent with a model of partial mediation in that basic need satisfaction partially accounted for the relationship between experiencing eudaimonia during HEPA and eudaimonic well-being, supporting the proposition put forth by Ryan et al. (2008) that positive psychological well-being is a result of eudaimonic living that facilitates the satisfaction of our basic psychological needs. Findings from this study suggest that what appears to be significant in the relationship between HEPA and eudaimonic well-being is not the level of activity, but rather what is experienced during the activity. Future research may explore the directionality of the relationship by examining the extent to which eudaimonic well-being influences what is experienced during activity.en_US
dc.subjecteudaimonic well-beingen_US
dc.subjecthealth-enhancing physical activityen_US
dc.titleHealth-enhancing physical activity and eudaimonic well-beingen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US of Kinesiologyen_US of Kinesiologyen_US of Saskatchewanen_US of Science (M.Sc.)en_US


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