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This article is part of the Research Topic

Modeling Human Potential Across the Lifespan

Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00431

Gain-framed messaging for promoting adult sport: Examining the effects of efficacy-enhancing Information

  • 1Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada
  • 2Faculty of Health Scences, University of Ottawa, Canada

Sport is a potential venue for more middle-aged adults to engage in sufficient physical activity for health benefits. Little is known about whether messaging interventions can motivate sport activity. This experiment tested the impact of gain-framed messaging (i.e., information about the benefits of doing adult sport) based on the inclusion (or lack thereof) of efficacy-enhancing information. Adults (30-69 years-old) were randomly assigned to experimental (a 4-minute online video of “Gain-framed messages alone”, or “Gain-framed plus efficacy-enhancing messages”) or control conditions. Participants (N = 232; 62.5% female) completed baseline measures for intentions, barrier and scheduling self-efficacy, outcomes expectancies (OEs), sport behavior and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, received their condition 1-week later, reported measures immediately after, and 1-month later. Results showed no differences between the experimental conditions, indicating there was no advantage of supplemental efficacy-enhancing information compared to gain-framed messages alone. When the two messaging groups were collapsed, they showed significant increases for OEs related to travel, social affiliation, and stress relief immediately following experimental exposure, compared to the control group. Overall, there were few benefits attributed to messaging and no effects on self-reported sport registration or sport behavior. Discussion focuses on future messaging considerations that may more effectively motivate adult sport participation.

Keywords: Gain-framed messaging, adult sport promotion, self-efficacy, Outcome expectancies, Masters sport opportunities

Received: 23 Dec 2018; Accepted: 13 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Michael J. Stones, Lakehead University, Canada

Reviewed by:

Donatella Di Corrado, Kore University of Enna, Italy
Alexander Lithopoulos, University of Victoria, Canada  

Copyright: © 2019 Littlejohn and Young. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Bradley W. Young, University of Ottawa, Faculty of Health Scences, Ottawa, K1N 6N5, Ontario, Canada,