Examining Differences in Emotion Regulation and Stages of Change in Exercise


  • Andrew Friesen The Pennsylvania State University
  • Casey Mathews The Pennsylvania State University


Emotion regulation, transtheoretical model, psychological skills, exercise adherence


The purpose of the present study is to investigate potential relationships between habitual emotion regulation usage and stages of change pertaining to exercise and physical activity. Participants were 124 undergraduate students (Mage= 22, mode = 19; men n = 64, women n = 59). Participants completed the Stages of Change Questionnaire as well as the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire. Participants also completed an open-ended question inquiring about any emotion regulation strategies used throughout the course of a recent exercise session. There was no significant relationship between stages of change and habitual emotion regulation habits. However, qualitative data revealed how all the emotion regulation families are used to facilitate adherence to exercise programs. The ability to regulate emotions might facilitate exercise adherence. Future research should investigate the efficacy of emotion regulation strategies to improve performance in exercise.


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