Motivation and exercise dependence: A study based on self-determination theory

David González-Cutre, Álvaro Sicilia

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to use self-determination theory to analyze the relationships of several motivational variables with exercise dependence. The study involved 531 exercisers, ranging in age from 16 to 60 years old, who responded to different questionnaires assessing perception of motivational climate, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, motivation types, and exercise dependence. The results of multiple mediation analysis revealed that ego-involving climate and perceived competence positively predicted exercise dependence in a directed and mediated manner through introjected and external regulation. Gender and age did not moderate the analyzed relationships. These results allow us to better understand the motivational process explaining exercise dependence, demonstrating the negative influence of the ego-involving climate in the context of exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-329
Number of pages12
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Basic psychological needs
  • Motivational climate
  • Physical activity
  • Self-determined motivation


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