Brief report| Volume 95, ISSUE 9, P1787-1790, September 2014

Sex Differences in Theory-Based Predictors of Leisure Time Physical Activity in a Population-Based Sample of Adults With Spinal Cord Injury

Published:April 10, 2014DOI:



      To examine sex differences in theory-based predictors of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) among men and women with spinal cord injury, and secondarily, to identify factors that might explain any sex differences in social cognitions.


      A secondary analysis of Study of Health and Activity in People with Spinal Cord Injury survey data.




      Community-dwelling men (n=536) and women (n=164) recruited from 4 rehabilitation and research centers.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Subjective norms, attitudes, barrier self-efficacy, perceived controllability (PC), and intentions.


      Men had stronger PC and barrier self-efficacy than women. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that social support significantly predicted PC for both sexes, and health, pain, and physical independence also significantly predicted PC for men. Social support, health, and pain significantly predicted barrier self-efficacy for men. Social support was the only significant predictor of barrier self-efficacy for women.


      Women felt significantly less control over their physical activity behavior and had lower confidence to overcome barriers to physical activity than did men. Although social support predicted PC and barrier self-efficacy in both men and women, men seemed to take additional factors into consideration when formulating their control beliefs for LTPA.


      List of abbreviations:

      LTPA (leisure time physical activity), PBC (perceived behavioral control), PC (perceived controllability), SCI (spinal cord injury), SHAPE-SCI (Study of Health and Activity in People with Spinal Cord Injury), TPB (theory of planned behavior)
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