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Motivation behind young women's excessive exercise: A qualitative study from a Self-determination perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Exercise is an important part of well-being. However, when performed excessively, it can lead to negative consequences such as anxiety, depression and feelings of guilt. This study aimed to qualitatively investigate what motivational regulations, defined by the Self-determination theory, that may provide an insight into why young women engage in excessive exercise. Data from seven participants was analyzed through a thematic analysis and resulted in four themes: Exercise affected by social influence, Ambivalence toward the amount of exercise, Benefits of exercise and Exercise affecting the sense of self. All of the motivational regulations belonged to the extrinsic type of motivation, ranging from external to integrated regulation, with social influence and health benefits being the most frequently mentioned reasons for exercise. Also, the informants were able to explain why they exercise, but less so in regard to the amount of exercise.      

Abstract [sv]

Träning är en förutsättning för välbefinnande. När träning utförs i en överdriven mängd kan det dock leda till negativa konsekvenser som ångest, depression och skuldkänslor. Syftet med denna studie var att kvalitativt undersöka vilka motivationsregleringar definierade av Självbestämmande teori som kan ge en inblick i varför unga kvinnor tränar i en överdriven omfattning. Materialet från sju deltagare analyserades genom en tematisk analys och resulterade i fyra teman: Social påverkan på träning, Ambivalens till träningsmängden, Fördelar med träning och Träning påverkar uppfattningen om sig själv. Alla motivationsregleringar tillhörde den yttre typen av motivation och sträckte sig från extern till integrerad reglering, där social påverkan och hälsofördelar var de mest frekvent nämnda anledningarna till träning. Informanterna kunde ge en förklaring till varför de tränar, men inte avseende deras träningsmängd. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 28 p.
Keyword [en]
excessive exercise, exercise, exercise dependence, exercise addiction, self-determination theory, motivation, compulsive exercise, fitness center, motivational regulation, qualitative study, thematic analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-103969OAI: diva2:817185
Educational program
Masters Programme in Sports Psychology
Available from: 2015-06-15 Created: 2015-06-04 Last updated: 2015-06-15Bibliographically approved

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