Purpose: The purpose of this research is to explore the relationships among psychological needs, motivation regulations, autonomy support, and physical activity (PA) behavior in rural and urban postmenopausal women within the Self Determination Theory (SDT) framework.
Sample: The convenience sample included 114 rural postmenopausal women (RPMW) and 56 urban postmenopausal women (UPMW) recruited from three Midwestern states.
Method: Subjects completed surveys in paper form which included instruments to measure basic psychological needs, motivation regulations, autonomy support, and PA behavior.
Findings: Results indicate a mix of relationships among psychological needs and intrinsic motivation in rural and urban women. There was a significant correlation (r = .274, n = 169, p = 0.04) between intrinsic motivation and relatedness in RPMW, indicating these women find motivation in meaningful relationships.
Conclusions: The strength of this research exists in the introduction of a significant correlation between intrinsic motivation to exercise and relatedness in RPMW. Previous work with SDT has shown autonomy and competence as motivating factors regarding physical activity behavior in women. This research indicates that for RPMW relatedness is also an important determinant of intrinsic motivation. This data suggests that psychological needs and motivational regulations are dissimilar for RPMW and UPMW regarding exercise behavior.
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