Subjective Physical Age and its Role in Health Behavior Change Strategies for Physical Activity

  • With an increasing age levels of physical activity tend to decrease, though maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is a crucial factor in the prevention of severe chronic diseases. Due to this it is of great importance to understand age-related changes and maintenance of behaviors such as physical activity. Effects of chronological age on processes of health behavior change are well documented, but probably fail to demonstrate the impact of aging comprehensively. Therefore, other age-related factor should be investigated which might provide new insights in the adoption and maintenance of physical activity throughout the life-span. The primary goal of this dissertation was to introduce subjective physical age as a facet of subjective age and investigate its additional value in the prediction of physical activity while focusing on intentional processes. The second goal was to highlight self-regulatory processes which aid the transition of intentions into behavior, in the light of subjective physical age. Furthermore, differences in social-cognitive predictors and their interplay were investigated. Results from this dissertation suggest that subjective physical age contributes to in the explanation of physical activity, even when controlling for strong correlates of subjective age (health status & chronological age). Those who feel physically younger indicate higher levels of physical activity. Feeling physically younger is also related to better self-regulatory planning skills which help to translate intentions in actual behavior. Finally, results provide insights in differing cognitions regarding health behavior change predictors and mechanisms between those who feel physically younger, as old as they are, and older. These findings are of special interest, as subjective physical age can be intervened upon to change cognitions about own ageing and age-related, physical capabilities in health behavior change interventions. They also provide a new proxy to tailor content towards the characteristics of participants in tailored, web-based health behavior change interventions to further personalize content (e.g., in web-based interventions for rehabilitation patients).

Download full text

Cite this publication

  • Export Bibtex
  • Export RIS

Citable URL (?):

Search for this publication

Search Google Scholar Search Catalog of German National Library Search OCLC WorldCat Search Bielefeld Academic Search Engine
Meta data
Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Julian Wienert
Referee:Sonia Lippke, Claudia Voelcker-Rehage, Paul Gellert
Advisor:Sonia Lippke
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1004899
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2015/03/25
Date of First Publication:2015/05/11
Full Text Embargo Until:2016/05/31
Academic Department:Psychology & Methods
PhD Degree:Psychology
Focus Area:Diversity
Library of Congress Classification:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / BF Psychology / BF712-724.85 Developmental psychology Including infant psychology, child psychology, adolescence, adulthood / BF724.5-724.85 Adulthood / BF724.8-724.85 Old age / BF724.85 Special topics, A-Z / BF724.85.S43 Self-perception
Call No:Thesis 2015/10

$Rev: 13581 $