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1 A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE BETWEEN A M ERICAN AND CHINESE GRADUATE S TUDENTS By YAWEN LUAN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR TH E DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Y awen Luan
3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my extreme gratitude to my supervising committee chair (Dr. Michael Sa gas) for all of his guidance, support, and patience, which enabled me to complete my work while gaining the insight and knowledge to become a better writer and researcher. I also thank Dr. Kerwin and Dr. Connaughton for serving on my committee, and for helping me every step of the way, with incredible patience and support. While not a direct committee member, Dr. James Zhang deserves my heartfelt gratitude for his support and guidance in the initi al conceptualization of my research topic I thank all of the participants who shared with me their stories, their passion and their inspiration. It had been a fascinating opportunity to work with them and bring academic values from their experiences. I am especially grateful to my friends and family for their love, patience, and support throughout this process. I thank my parents for their love, and for allowing their on ly child to leave her country chasing her dreams. Finally, my sincere thanks go to my b oyfriend, Shafiq for hi s constant encourage ment and support, which gave me strength and confidence to overcome all the difficulties.
4 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science A QUALITATIVE STUDY OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE BETWEEN AMERICAN AND CHINESE GRADUATE S TUDENTS By Yawen Luan August 2012 Chair: Michael Sagas Major: Sport Management The purpose of this study was to examine and explore behavioral, normal and control beliefs of Chinese participants through comparison with American participants with guidance from the theory of planned behavior. Moreover, the leisure constraints model was used to explore soc exercise participation Thirdly, this study also sought ways to initiate theory integration between these two theories. Fifteen University of Florida graduate students, including eight Chinese and seven Americans, were interviewed to discuss their past and current exercise experience. Consistent with previous study, it was found that Chinese participants were more interpers onally constrained than American participants. In addition, body image issues emerged as a major barrier for female Chinese participants. Moreover, sport oriented physical education curriculum and lack of college recreation facility in universities in Chin a were identified as two social factors impeding suggested exercise workshops targeted at Chinese international students being arranged to provide Chinese participants with basic exercise knowledge and fa miliarity with campus recreational
5 facilities in US. Also, it was imperative for decision makers in China higher education to initiate physical education reform and increase funding to improve sport and fitness programs in universities. Furthermore, health and fitness clubs in US with Chinese immigrants as a target market could incorporate a healthy body imag e in their marketing body image and consequently their exercise pa rticipation and preference.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ ................................ ............................... 3 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 CHAPTER 1 INTR ODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ............................. 12 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 13 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 13 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 19 Education, Public Policy and Development on Sport and Exercise Participation in China ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 19 Physical Education and its Current Challenge in China ................................ ... 19 Physical Activities and Sports Participation in China ................................ ........ 24 Theories on Exercise Behavior ................................ ................................ ............... 26 The Theory of Planned Behavior ................................ ................................ ...... 26 Leisure Constraints Theory ................................ ................................ .............. 31 Cu lture Studies and Chinese Physical Culture ................................ ....................... 3 5 The Collectivistic and Individualistic Construct ................................ ................. 35 Chinese Culture and its Impact on Physical Activity Participation .................... 40 Theory Integration ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 42 3 METHODOL OGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 44 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 44 Participants and Sampling ................................ ................................ ...................... 44 Pr ocedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 46 Instruments ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 48 The Theory of Planned Behavior ................................ ................................ ...... 48 Leisure Constraints Model ................................ ................................ ................ 50 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 52 Trustworthines s ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 53 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 55 The Theory of Planned Behavior ................................ ................................ ............ 59
7 Behavioral Beliefs: Advantages and Disadvantages ................................ ........ 59 Normative Beliefs: Social Pressure ................................ ................................ .. 63 Control Beliefs ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 64 Facilitating factors ................................ ................................ ...................... 64 Inhabiting factors ................................ ................................ ........................ 66 Past behavior ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 68 Leisure Constraints ................................ ................................ ................................ 70 Intrapersonal Constraints ................................ ................................ ................. 71 Interpersonal Constraints ................................ ................................ ................. 74 St ructural Constraints ................................ ................................ ....................... 76 Overcoming Exercise Constrains: Negotiation Strategies ................................ 78 Open Coding Approach ................................ ................................ .......................... 79 Values and beliefs ................................ ................................ ............................ 80 Social sup port ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 81 Facilitators ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 81 Barriers ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 82 Negotiation Strategies ................................ ................................ ...................... 82 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 83 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 83 Theory Integration ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 87 Culture and Social Implications ................................ ................................ ............... 89 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 93 APPE N DIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE ................................ ................................ ................................ 96 B INFORMED CONSENT ................................ ................................ .......................... 99 LIST OF RE FERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 106
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 ................................ ......................... 57 4 2 Theory of Planned Behavior Approach ................................ ............................... 59 4 3 Leisure Constraints Theory Approach ................................ ................................ 70 4 4 Open Coding Approach ................................ ................................ ...................... 80
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In the past two decades, China has witnessed impressive economic development, which not only sped up its urbanization and industrialization, it also exerted international influence as a rising power and affected the overall lifestyle of the Chinese people. Among many consequences, obesity as a global epidemic began inflicting China, the country with the largest population in the world. Using the World Health Organization body mass index cut points; a study revealed that between 1992 and 2002, the combined p revalence of overweight and obesity increased from 14.6 to 21.8% in China (Wang et al., 2007). Moreover, each year the increase rate was highest among men aged 18 44 and women between the ages of 45 59. Obesity and weight gain in children are also on the r year study on excess weight and obesity among Chines e youth, the 2005 national estimate indicated that 7.73% of Chinese youth are overweight and 3.71% are obese, representing an estimated 21.37 million Chinese children total. The situation should no longer be overlooked; policies and programs are needed to educate and advocate the public in an Physical activity is widely regarded as an effective way to implement weight con trol and healthier conditions. According to Physical Activity and Public Health recommendations from the American College Sports Medicine Association and the to 65 need moderate intensity aerobic (endurance) physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days each week or vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity for a
10 prevent the development of excessive weight and obesity, a scientific statement issued by American Heart Association (Kumanyika et al., 2008) stresses the important of effective inventions to reduce obesity; physical activity becomes an essential strategy to both weig ht control and long term healthy lifestyle. As the problem becomes more urgent over the years, policy makers, physical exercise educators and fitness club managers seek methods and strategies to tackle this challenge. In 1995, the Physical Health Law of t he People's Republic of China was adopted. In the same year, the State Council promulgated the Outline of Nationwide Physical Fitness Program, followed by a series of rules and regulations with the aim to improve sport and fitness facilities and service ac ross the country. Since physical engagement, reform on physical education is carried out to meet the demand of the changing lifestyle. In 2001, the new Chinese National Curri culum Standard was released with Physical Education & Health as one of its 18 subjects. It shifted the focus heath with emphasis on participation (Christopher, p. 20) the expansion of Chinese middle class, whose increased health awareness and (2006) on fitness retailers in five major cities in China, on average, consumers from Beijing spent around $120 per person annually on fitness related expenses, adding up to $11.7 billions in the Beijing fitness market, alone. Commercial fitness centers introduced w estern exercise concepts and approaches to China and served as an
11 educator for a healthy lifestyle. It is through the development of commercial fitness clubs that people become familiar with strength and conditioning exercise, cardio dancing, yoga and pers onal training. At the same time, traditional exercise methods such as urban park visiting still remain as popular leisure and exercise choices. These options are favored by certain group of people, contributing to the development in exercise and physical a ctivity participation at the community level. However, inactivity among youth and adults remains a problem. According to Tudor physical activity outside of school. Household chor es are not expected from youth in China and approximately72% students engage in sedentary study related activities outside of school for a median of 420 min/week. Another study conducted by Keri (2007) found that, as industrialization and technology advan ces liberate people for traditional labor activity, work related physical activity of adults was greatly reduced. It versus heavy occupational activity given the mean change in urbanization over the 6 leisure time physical activity is as of yet, not common among Chinese adults, leading to a dramatic decrease in physical activity over all. Although exercise and physical activity is an effective way to prevent increases in weight and obesity, leading to a healthier lifestyle, many people still fail to implement these changes in their everyday life due to lack of motivation or certain lei sure constraints. The perception and beliefs people have towards physical activity, which are
12 strongly influenced by social and cultural norms and conditions, play an important role in directing their exercise intention and behavior. Researchers and schol ars have conducted motivational and behavioral studies on exercise for decades. These studies have introduced social cognitive theories and behavior theories, such as the theory of planned behavior and self determination theory, to examine and explain peop as most of the studies were conducted in the context of North American society and among American or Canadian participants, different social and cultural norms may bring cultural considerations int o the well established model. This study intends to address these issues, shedding light upon the physical exercise behavior among Chinese participants. Statement of Problem Previous studies on exercise behavior were largely conducted among North America population, while a large account of research conducted by Chinese researchers are kept within the Chinese academic circle even without English translation provided. Thus, lack of academic communication leads to inadequate understanding of physical exercis e behavior among Chinese participants. In addition, although most of the exercise behavior studies guided by the theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model adopt a quantitative approach, they were limited e factors other than established constructs within the theory. Factors such as social norms and cultural values may contribute to the formation of behavioral, control and normative beliefs, which ultimately leads to unique exercise behavior, motivation and constraint within their cultural and social context.
13 Therefore, the adaptation of qualitative approach is necessary to further the understanding of physical activity among Chinese participants. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study contains three components: a) To reach a better understanding of behavioral, normal and control beliefs of Chinese participants through comparison with American participants with guidance from the theory of planned behavior, b) To explore social and cultural factors imp exercise participation, as well as their negotiation strategies and methods to overcome exercise barriers, against the framework of leisure constraints theory, c) To examine the relationship between the theory of planned behavior an d leisure constraints model, identify the similarities between the constructs within each theory, and provide theory integration suggestions to improve theoretical development in exercise behavior study. Theoretical Framework The theoretical underlying of this study are the theory of planned behavior (PBT), developed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1991,1993) and used to predict behavior based on behavioral intention, which is further affected by attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavior control; Leisure constraints theory, a series of studies applying hierarchical model of leisure constraints with a focus on cross cultural difference. The theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1991), as one of the most influential theories in social cognitive psychology, was an extension of the reasoned action theory, which was originally proposed by Ajzen and Fishbein in 1975. The reasoned action theory implies behavioral intention; the more positive of the evaluation on one activity (attitude) and the
14 more pressure one receives from the significant others (subjective norms), the more likely the person will form intention to perform the behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen 2010). In addition to attitude and subjective norms, Ajzen later added a new component planned behavior. Perceived behavior control is the degree to which people belie ve their capacity to perform a given behavior or their control over performing it (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010, p. 154). Assume that one has a favorable attitude towards an activity, his friends and family encourage or even give pressure on him to engage in the activity, and at the same time he has a high degree of control over his performance, then he is development of self efficacy concept, which was proposed by Bandur a (1991). According to Bandura (1991, p. 257), self their capability to exercise control over their own level of functioning and over events BC and efficacy concept, with their similarities and difference discussed and perspective, self efficacy and perceived behavioral control are virtually identi understanding and application of the theory of planned behavior, which will be discussed in details in the next chapter. The theory of planned behavior has been w idely applied in physical activity and exercise domain to further the knowledge of human exercise motivation and to predict participation behavior. A cross cultural study testing the general applicability of the
15 theory of planned behavior (Hagger et al., 2 002) revealed that cross cultural difference in structural relations among the TPB constructs was insignificant; however, the effect of PBC on intentions was remarkable except in Hungarian sample. In addition, this study also supports the general applicabi lity of the measures and patterns of effects for TPB among young people in a physical activity context. However, recent research has suggested that PBT is insufficient in addressing all the antecedents of physical activity participation, which limits its predictive capacity of exercise behavior. Chatzisarantis and Hagger (2008) examined the combined effect of personality traits and continuation intentions on exercise behavior within the theory of planned behavior. The findings indicated that among the five personality traits in the five factors model (extroversion, neuroticism, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness), people with higher conscientiousness trait tend to have higher continuation intention for physical activity. Similarly, another research suggests the inclusion of self identity and social influence constructs, particularly those influences 2008, p. 56). Unlike the subjective norms construc t, group norms refer to the perception specific context. Moreover, since positive emotions may facilitate the translation of intention to actual exercise participation a nd increase duration and frequency of the bridge linking the intention behavior gap (Mohiyeddini et al, 2009). For the purpose of this study, the original constructs p roposed by Ajzen will be applied in the research,
16 while other factors suggested by previous scholars will be taken into consideration in data collection and analysis stages. Compared to the theory of planned behavior, leisure constraints study is a relativ ely new area, though numerous empirical studies on leisure activity participation were conducted in the past decade. According to Crawford and et al. (1991), the hierarchical model of leisure constraints suggests that there are three discrete levels of con straints, intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural constrains, which are encountered by participants hierarchically. The first level of constraint is intrapersonal ty participant successfully overcomes the intrapersonal constraints, more barriers may erpersonal 1987, p. 123). Finally, structural constraints represent factors that intervene between leisure preferences or choices and actual participation. Examples i nclude financial dependent not on the absence of constrains but on neg et al 1993, p. 1). Instead of passively reacting to constraints, people actually modify their choice or initiate strategies to overcome the barriers in order to finalize their leisure activity participation. When it comes to empirical application of leisure constraints model, Walker and
17 discussion of cultural constraints. The cross cultural validity of leisure constraints model is tes ted through several comparison studies between Canadian and Chinese participants. The findings indicate the general applicability of the model across cultures, but at the same time some of the variance is attributable to cultural difference. Triantis and individualism and collectivism has been frequently used to explain leisure participation perception t hat self is part of the collective and inequalities within the group are accepted. Horizontal collectivism regards self as part of the collective, but sees all individuals within the collective as the same. Vertical individualism entails an autonomous indi vidual and accepts inequality. Horizontal individualism includes the conceptions of autonomous individual, but emphasizes on equality (Singelis et al 1995). This construct serves as an important link between culture and leisure constraints model (Walker et al. 2008), through which we could understand and explain certain leisure preferences, constraints and participation patterns in different cultural settings. Both the theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model are designed to examine and understand the motivation of physical activity participation and further to predict actual behavior based on the knowledge of various internal and external factors. Inevitably, there are overlaps concerning interpersonal influences (subjective norms and in terpersonal constraints) and internal factors (perceived behavior control and intrapersonal constraints). However, the theory of planned behavior tends to examine theory focuses on
18 answer questions prior to the decision making process. In other words, before we use the theory of planned behavior to predict behavior, leisure constraints perspective may help to answer questions concerning the formation of beliefs that are ultimately translated into attitude and subjective norms. Nevertheless, the theory of planned behavior is unique and powerful in its intention behavior predictive ability based on it s examination of attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavior control. A combination of planned behavior theory and leisure constraints model as the underlying theoretical framework is novel but essential to obtain a comprehensive understanding of ph ysical exercise participation between American and Chinese students. In addition, recent leisure constraints studies, with a cross cultural perspective and incorporation of cultural pattern theories, shed light upon the study on exercise behavior among par ticipants with different cultural and social background. These literatures provide valuable tools and perspectives for this paper to develop research measurement. At the same time, this study could contribute to theory integration through building connecti ons between constructs.
19 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Education, P ublic Policy and Development on Sport and Exercise Participation in China Physical Education and its Current Challenge in China Physical Educ ation plays a critical role in providing students with an understanding of the scientific approaches to exercise, in addition to opportunities to engage in physical activity under the guidance of teachers and/or trainers. Early experiences that involve phy sical activity can have a far time physical activity due to the quality of physical education that a student receives, the qualification of teachers as well as the breadth of the curriculum and resources allot ted to physical education education through a study of the history and heritage of such education programs, focuses and practice, reforms and limitations, would shed light upon a better understa a significant part of communist education in schools (Jarvie et al., 2008). Under Chairman M subject that incorporating health education, recreation activities and ethics training with an emphasis on the cultivation of physical culture nationwide. At the time, it was believed that the movement would enable students to better work on their academic studies, participate in productive labor and enter the military in the future. Students would be capable of shouldering heavier burdens required of them to better serve their country. The refore, early physical education programs in China were approached in a similar manner to military training that emphasized conformity with collective interests,
20 endurance training, competiveness fostering and communist doctrine and ideology educating. In 1999, the Ministry of Education started launching a new basic curriculum to meet the demands of education in the 21st Century (Hua, 2011). Among the many (PE) reform was highlighted with the objective of constructing and implementing a new physical education (PE) curriculum. Released in 2001, the new Chinese National Curriculum Standard consists of 18 subjects, one of which is Physical Education & Health (PE&H). The new c urriculum features a shift in focus from performance to the demonstration and development of physical skills and excellence surrounding sports like gymnastics, track an d field, soccer, basketball and volleyball (Christopher & Jin, inclusion of health classes shows a focus on the promotion of healthy lifestyle that is critical to the long term health education to the public. A recent study (Christopher & Jin, 2010) conducted to gauge Chinese PE reveals a structural barrier to achieve the initial purpose of the reform. The first barrier is the low status of PE Chinese education system, two exams are the center of midd le school and high school education, the High School Entrance Examination and the College Entrance Examination. Due to severe competition, the evaluation of these examinations
21 determines the admission to high school and university. Unfortunately, PE plays a minor role in the high school Entrance Examination and is not even a component in the College Entrance Examination. As a result, both students and teachers of other subjects tus in are not motivated to carry out the curriculum reform (Christopher & Jin, 2010). Moreover, lack of training and education in health education further made it difficul t for PE teachers to achieve the expectations embodied in the new PE curriculum. The struggle faced by PE teachers under the guise of the new curriculum has several implications in regards to mass sports participation or general physical activity in China. First and foremost, as suggested the overall low status of Physical Education and PE teachers in middle and high school system, is largely due to the severe competition of and emphasis on the High School Entrance Examination and the College Entrance Exami nation. Consequently, it discourages students from treating physical activity as an integral part of life from an early stage, while academic achievement is far more valued and acknowledged. Secondly, the overemphasis on skills and performance of the sports based physical education approach, regardless of it being an advocate of a shift to a participation orientated approach of the new curriculum, still dominates physical education practices. When it comes to exercise motivation, such approach fails to provide high autonomous support for students. Consequently, lack of choice combined with the strong emphasis on performance and skills likely discourages some students from future exercise participation. According to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen,
22 1991), past physical activity experience or habit plays an important role in predicting policy create an obstacle that inhibits Chinese students from actively engaging in leisure time physical activities in the future. Government policy plays an important role in the promotion and development of sports and fitness programs in China, unlike most western countries. Government policies help: increase the awareness of the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and frequently exercising, encourage physical activity participation through media coverage of health and fitness programs, provide financial and human resources to suppo rt the development of health and fitness initiatives, and create tax benefits for the construction attributable to the rapid development of sports and fitness facil ities and programs over the past few decades (Xiang ru, 2001). The National Fitness Program (NFP), initiated in 1995, aimed at improving health and overall physical conditions of the general population. The National Fitness Program was designed to be impl emented over a 15 year period through the enactment of a set of rules and regulations. The objective of the NFP was to engage 40 percent of the population in regular physical exercise. It was presumed that the program would result in a noticeable improveme nt in the physique of the population and increase in the number of sports and fitness facilities across the country. Additionally, the NFP recommended that people learn at least two ways of keeping fit and have a routine check in once a year. In 2001, ther e were more than 850,000 gymnasiums and
23 Daily, 2001). In 2002, The National Fitness Program was included in the Cultural Environment Construction Plan initiated by the Beijing Municipal Government and the 2015 guidelines released o n engaged in at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week, which is 3.8 percent higher than the percentage of the population that was exercising in 2007. T he plan also calls for the number of gymnasiums and stadiums to increase from the current 1 million facilities open as of 2011 to 1.2 million facilities by 2015. Such top down government mandated policy for sports and fitness programs is unique compared wi th the policies seen in US. The political purpose behind this and its masses into a communist political culture have provided China with distinct political and to increase the population's awareness of healthy living and at the same time provides funding for facility construction. This type of support from government at the national level accelerates sports and fitness industry development and facilitates physical activity p articipation amongst the populace.
24 Physical Activities and Sports Participation in China carri ed out since 1978, China has developed its unique sports and fitness business environment and market features. These features combine traditional health and exercise concepts and methods rooted in Chinese culture as well as more current Western exercise ap proaches and trends. Since the beginning of the 1990s, economic development has been followed by rapid urbanization that has not only drastically transformed the urban landscape, but concept, form and space (Xiong, 2007). First, the concept of health is introduced and well received by well being. As fast food culture is overtaking traditional Chinese diet and transportation mass media and entertainment industry encourage a sedentary lifestyle which can result n health disorders such as obesity and heart disease. A h ealthy lifestyle political purpose, people actively participate in sport and physical acti fitness, for entertainment, for communication with friends, for mental health and for In addition to the expansion of the concept of sport and exercise, institutional and structural changes have emerged especially at the grassroots level. Unlike decades ago, when sport participation mainly served political functions and people were
25 mandated to join in certain sport activity and events, the increased autonomy of sport partic ipation encourages voluntarily involvement that in turn contributes to the formation and development of community sports (or of sports in communities). As a product of the community service system, a form of a traditional welfare system tied to work unit, facilities in urban China. The structural uniqueness of China community sports sets the stage for certain features of sports and exercise participation at grassroots level. Acc ording to Wong (2009), for urban park users, they mostly engaged in group workout and jogging. In particular, elderly residents walk or ride their bikes to urban parks for Tai Chi practice, while young people go to parks during the afternoons and evenings for active sport activities. I n addition to community grassroots sports in China, Chinese cities have witnessed a boom in commercial fitness centers and clubs since late 1990s due to the growth of the middle class. With the increasingly openness of the Ch inese market, oversea fitness companies have opened new branches in China, including companies like Bally Total Fitness 24 Hour Fitness, LA F itness etc. Due to the success of Beijing Bally Total Fitness the Western health and fitness concept and i ts approach, which incorporates group fitness class, personal training, dietetic consulting and strength and conditioning, was introduced to Chinese urban dweller as an alternative form of exercise and leisure activity. Additionally, fitness centers and cl ubs also pursue marketing strategies to make their core products more appealing to the Chinese market and expand their costumer base through the introduction of their traditional products with a Chinese spin to them, such as Tai Chi group fitness class and Chinese traditional
26 dance classes. The various exercise choices that they provide, the convenience of their lifestyles to become healthier and more active (Xiao fen, 2006) Theories on Exercise Behavior participation, the physical education system, current commercial and community sport may exhibit unique characteristics. This study is carried out within the framework of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and leisure constraints model. In this section, the self efficacy and self determination theories are also discussed in order to exp lore the difference and similarities between those constructs, which will help to better understand the application and limitations of the TPB and leisure constraints models. Moreover, theories in cultural studies are introduced to serve as an exploratory tool to understand the difference in physical activity participation between two cultural groups. It is then The Theory of Planned Behavior The theory of planned behavior ( TPB) as a social cognitive model received considerate attention during the past two decades, particularly contributing to empirical study of physical exercise behavior. According to Ajzen (1991), the theory of planned behavior proposes that individual beha vior is determined by behavioral intention that is further influenced by three independent components, attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavior control. Intention is the immediate predictor of behavior; the stronger the intention to engage in a be havior, the more likely it is that it will be performed. An
27 could be favorable or unfavorable. Subjective norms reflect the pressure one receives from significant o thers to participate or avoid an activity. Perceived behavior control measures individual self evaluation of the capability to implement the task and the towards the activity the more pressure from significant others to participate and the behavior during a given situation. It is noticeable that the theory of planned behavior is a conceptual e xpansion of capacity and the ease or difficulty of engaging in an activity. In several meta analytic reviews conducted by previous scholars (Blue, 1995; Hau senblas et al., 1997; Hagger et al., 2002), the predictive ability of the reasoned action theory and the theory of planned behavior are compared. It has been suggested that perceived behavioral control contributes to prediction beyond attitude and subject norms (Blue, 1995), and in the physical activity context the theory of planned behavior is found to be superior to the reasoned action theory in accounting for variance in intention (Hausenblas et al., 1997; Hagger et al., 2002). The perceived behavior co ntrol concept is not novel when compared to other 1982) self
28 behavioral control is most compat efficacy and perceived behavioral discussion on self efficacy could help to reach a better understanding of the perceived behavior control construct. Self capacity to perform a specific task, involving in the direction of motivation, utilization of various resources and organization of the course of action (Bandura, 1977, 1982). efficacy beliefs can influence their preference of activities, preparation for an activity, effort spent during performance, as well as tho ught patterns and emotional reactions (Bandura, 1982). Furthermore, self behavior directly, which is referred to as actual control (Ajzen, 1991; Hausen blas et al., 1997). When resources are available and constraints are overcome, actual control is proven to be a strong factor determining exercise participation. In the past decade, efforts directed at the development of the theory of planned behavior sug gest the inclusion of new constructs in order to enhance its predictive capacity of behavior. The frequency of past behavior is revealed to be a valid factor exhibiting an attenuation effect on attitude intention and intention behavior relationships (Hagge r et al., 2002). When the theory of planned behavior was just introduced, the impact of past behavior has been acknowledged by Fishbein and Ajzen, They stated attitudes, sub jective norms and intention. Ajzen (1991), however, does not consider it as
29 reveals that frequent performance of a behavior may set the stage for the formation of a n ew habit, but a behavior, in and of itself, does not necessarily become a habit. In addition to past behavior, social influence is also suggested as a variable within the planned behavior model. Compared with attitude and perceived behavior control, subje ctive norms are a less significant predictor (Hausenblas et al., 1997), and consequently, the value of subjective norms in explaining and predicting physical activity is questionable (Hamilton & White, 2008; Chatzisarantis et al., 2009, 2010). The subjecti ve norms construct focuses on the particular influence on an individual via social pressure from significant others and/or group norms as a social influence; while on the i dentify with the group and receive support and guidance from friends and peers (Hamilton & White, 2008). Similarly, Chatzisarantis et al. (2009) note that from a social identity perspective, social influence has been recognized as a complementary variable to subjective norms, and the inclusion of social influence could further enhance the accuracy of productivity. However, their findings also reveal that the influence group norms have on physical activity attitude and behavior is only valid to the degree th at people identify strongly with the group. The introduction of perceived autonomous support from the self determination theory addresses this problem. It assumes that s on the antonymous support one receives in a given context (Chatzisarantis et al., 2010). In addition to past behavior and social influence, several other variables have been studied and examined as potential constructs that could be added to the theory of planned behavior. These constructs include emotion (Mohiyeddini et al., 2008),
30 personality traits (Chatzisarantis & Hagger, 2008), self identity (Hamilton and White, 2008; Rise et al., 2010) and perceived antimony support (Chatzisarantis et al 2010). Although these studies contribute to the overall development of the theory of planned behavior through providing new interpretations, different perspectives and theory integration, one issue addressed by Ajzen (1991) still remains uncertain. Ajzen states t hat there are appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative and control beliefs associated with attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavior control. There is no causal relationship established between these beliefs and their corresponding constru cts, but their influence on the formation of the three constructs, intention and behavior deserves further scrutiny. Therefore, based on the review of current literature it is suggested that rather than seeking potential constructs, more attention should be directed at examining salient beliefs (behavioral beliefs, control beliefs and normative beliefs) of individuals. It is possible that variables suggested by current studies could be explained away by their influence on the belief construct relations. Mo reover, another limitation is the scarcity of literature in cross cultural contexts. One study has proven the cross cultural generalizability of the theory of planned behavior in physical context (Hagger et al., 2007), but more studies of this topic are ne eded, not only to test the predictive capacity of the model in different cultural contexts, but also to examine and even expand current constructs. For instance, Trafimow and Finlay (1996) argue that norms are more important determinants of social life in collective cultural systems and hence are stronger predictors of behavior in countries like China, Japan and Singapore. Similarly, analytic review questions whether elicited beliefs are similar to a
31 particular behavior or within a partic ular population under investigation. Finally, though quantitative approach is well established as a measurement of attitude, subjective qualitative approach still merits e xploration as a means of examining beliefs and values that contribute to the formation of attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavior control, particularly in a different cultural contexts. L eisure Constraints Theory The leisure constraints theory h as emerged as an influential theoretical framework in leisure studies in the past two decades. Early studies categorized constraints in three models of barriers structural barriers, intrapersonal barriers and interpersonal barriers that inhabit recreat ional active participation and satisfaction (Crawford & Godbey, 1987). This barrier model contributed to the development of constraint research by explaining the operation of constraints in the context of preference and participation relations (Crawford et al., 1991). It put forth that through affecting leisure activity preference the barriers influence participation on leisure activities. Nevertheless, the constraint barrier model failed to address the process of how people might encounter and negotiate th e barriers. The development of the hierarchical model of leisure constraints addressed this problem. Crawford, Jackson and Godbey (1991) extended the barrier model by constructing a hierarchical leisure constraints process that proposed that constraints a re encountered hierarchically. The first two levels, intrapersonal constraints (individual psychological states and qualities that may affect leisure preference) and interpersonal constraints (social factors that affect the formation of preference), affect activity
32 preference, while the third and final level structural constraints (factors encountered after the first two level of constraints) intervene between preference and participation. In addition to the hierarchical constraints encounter process, an i mplicit proposition of the model was further defined and conceptualized and it became a main focus of later leisure constraints literature. Crawford, Jackson and Godbey (1993) argued that s but on negotiation to actively engage in negotiation efforts to minimize inhibiting factors and initiate leisure participation. Constraints negotiation studies dra w more attention as strategies and resources are identified and developed by researchers. Jackson and Rucks (1995) were among the earliest researchers to investigate the negotiation of constraints through empirical research. Their research revealed that pr oblems of commitment, time, lack of skills, health and physical fitness limitations, facilities, cost and lack of money are encountered by high school students during their recreation participation or non participation. Moreover, though both cognitive and behavioral strategies are effective in alleviating constraints, behavioral strategies, including time management, skills acquisition, commitment enhancement, interpersonal relation improvement and financial management, are widely adopted strategies (Hubbar d & Mannell, 2001). Based on the leisure constraints negotiation concept, more recent studies have begun to explore the role of motivation in the constraints negotiation process. The inclusion of motivation is not new in the interpretation of leisure cons traints negotiation. of the negotiation process are dependent on the relative strength of, and interaction
33 between, constraints on participating in an activity and motivation for such between leisure constraints, negotiation, motivation and activity participation. One study that tested the four competing leisure constraint negotiation models in a corporate employee recreation setting revealed findings that support the constraint effects mitigation model. Employees with strong health and enjoyment motives were more likely to have increased level of negotiation effort (Hubbard & Mannell, 2001). By incorporating a negotiation recreation concluded that negotiation demonstrated a minor positive impact on outdoor recreation, while motivation, as a form of desire for satisfying recreation exp eriences, exhibited a strong impact on participation and was also a strong predictor of future negotiation process is still limited. More efforts are needed to investigate the links between well established motivation theories, such as the theory of planned behavior and self determination theory, with the motivation concept within leisure constraints model in order to initiate potential theory integration so as to reach a be tter understanding of motivation, constraint and negotiation. Though the leisure constraints model has been well established over the past two decades through conceptual development and empirical validation, little research has been done concerning how the formation and negotiation of leisure constraints vary in different cultures, thus it has been argued that the model is culturally bound (Chick & Dong, 2005). In response to this argument, recent studies give more attention to the oss culture contexts and explore potential cultural variables. Arab
34 Moghaddam ranked community structure as the most constraining area, followed by high family expectations as a person al constraint, which is influenced by cultural and religious values. The study suggested that social security and culture dimension constructs be cultural applicability. In response to the criticism on the theory, Crawford, Jackson and Godbey (2011) argue that the intrapersonal constraints including cultural dimension among all thre recreational sport participation of Greeks produ ced results consistent with those (2007) comparison studies on the leisure c onstraints perceived by Canadian and mainland Chinese university students, they discovered that the Chinese students were more affected by intra and interpersonal constraints, while Canadian students were more structurally constrained. Regardless of such differences, the findings of this study support the applicability of this framework across two cultures. In summary, the hierarchical leisure constraints model is cross culturally applicable, though there might be different constraint patterns in different cultures. cultural applicability. First, what cultural factors contribute to these differences in patterns?
35 Second, how the interpretation of the diverse value and belief systems of d ifferent societies could help us to reach a better understanding of different constraint patterns? These questions will be discussed later in this chapter along with the introduction of the self construal concept. In this study, it is noted that the hierar chical model of leisure constraints is a well established theoretical framework, especially with its cross culture applicability. To apply the leisure constraints model to my study is due to the potential that it could provide insights from previous cross culture research, especially those based on Chinese samples. At the same time, leisure constraint perspective, with its focus on barriers and inhibitors, complements to the motivational perspective provided by the theory of planned behavior. Culture Studi es and Chinese Physical Culture In the realm of cross culture psychology, theories have been developed to explain perception, personality, emotion, motivation and behavior. A better understanding of cultural patterns, as an explanatory tool, is necessary to investigate the difference of physical exercise preference and participation between Americans and Chinese sport and exercise participation. The Collectivistic and Individualistic Construct The distinction between collectivism and individualism societies is of great interest to cross cultural psychology and sociology researchers. Individualism is a cultural notion that dictates that individuals within a culture/society perceive the mselves as an autonomous entity from the group, and able to pursue individual goals to advance their own self interests. In these societies the uniqueness of each individual, as well as each are respected and valued. Collectivism, on the other hand,
36 of the group. In collectivistic societies, conformity to social norms and values and compromise or sacrif ice of individuals is expected for the harmony of the group (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Traindis, 1995). However, the collectivism and individualism distinction is restricted in its ng aspects of culture requires obtaining a great deal of information from each respondent, yet the users of the individualism and collectivism constructs often ask for the simplest em, further categorization, consisting of two distinct sub groups (vertical individualism, vertical collectivism, horizontal individualism and horizontal collectivism) of the individualism and collectivism construct, w as conceptualized by Trandis et al. in their 1995 study. The distinguished two sub groups of the individualism and collectivism construct through the creation of a matrix that differentiates between vertical and horizontal societies. Vertical collectivism refers to the perception of oneself as an interdependent part of a group and acceptance of the inequalities within the group. Horizontal collectivism defines the perception of oneself as an interdependent part of the group, but regards equality within the group. Vertical individualism defines the perception of an autonomous self within a group and accepts existing inequalities within the group. Horizontal individualism defines the perception of an autonomous self but seeing all individual with equality. For constraints found that Canadian university students were characterized more as
37 horizontal individualists; whereas Chinese students were more on both vertical collectivism and vertical individualism. (1995) individualism and collectivism matrix not only provides measurement advantages, but also reveals the dynamic, yet consistent nature of culture patterns. A society may consist of people defined as different categories among the matrix, but there is o ne category with dominating proportion. Take for example what Triandis (1995) noted regarding a vertical individualistic culture like the United States, it 30 percent; 47). This implication of this study is that it provided valuable insights into studies on societies and cultures that are undergoing changes or becoming more diversified, like th ose happening in China and America. At the micro level, underlying the concept of collectivism and individualism are differences in values and beliefs that result in two divergent perceptions about the relation between self and others, called self constru al by Markus & Kitayama (1991). The independent construal features self reference in terms of goal setting and self evaluation, which requires the construction of a well organized self with its own internal thoughts, feelings and actions. The interdependen t construal entails behaviors that are determined and dependent on the reference of others and motivated by the purpose to fit in. The independent self construal is seen more in people from Canada, United States and Western Europe, while people from Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa exhibit more interdependent self construal. As Markus and Kitayama (1991) noted, an important function of self construal is that of motivating actions. People with
38 independent construct of self are more motivated to engage in acti vities of self expression and in displaying inner attributes, while the interdependent construal purpose of enhancing closeness and connection with others. The introdu ction of the self construal, though not a widely applied concept, sheds light upon the understanding of exercise motivation and constraint in cross culture contexts in addition to further explain the difference in behavior. In empirical research, Walker a cultural comparison studies (2001, 2005, 2011) highlighted the incorporation of a self construal instrument in the application of the theory of planned behavior and the self determination theory in exercise participation, as well a s leisure constraints studies. Consistent with Markus and construal affect the formation of individual motivation, Walker, Deng and Deiser (2005) pointed out that the difference in self construal type wo uld result in different levels of intrinsic motivation. The need for autonomy and relatedness are two of the three basic psychological needs indicated by self determination theory. The tendency to pursue self expression and uniqueness (independent self con strual) corresponds with the need for autonomy, while the for relatedness. Walker, Deng and Deiser (2005) finally suggest that as the recognition of culture and self construal contribute to a better understanding of the need for autonomy and relatedness, which subsequently facilitates intrinsic motivation, is necessary to account for the self construal in the development of a theoretical framework (p. 87).
39 Walker, Jack son and Deng (2011) also argue that the self construal is an intervening variable between culture and leisure constraints. Since the two self construal types differ in their relation between self and others, as well as amongst interdependent construal indi viduals, the interpersonal relationship may exhibit a social norms or the very reference of others is valued and examined. The result suggests that for Chinese vert ical collectivists, the need for autonomy is a greater constraint than more horizontally collectivist students. Finally, Walk, Jackson and Deng suggest in their study that the inclusion of self construal could extend the knowledge on how culture impacts th e interpersonal constraint as well as structural constraints. The self construal is still a relatively new concept in cross cultural motivation and behavior research, and some scholars are skeptical about the validity of the self construal as a cross cult ural explanatory construct (Levine et al., 2003). Levine and his analysis of published cross cultural self construal inconsistent or nonexist dimensional construct is also questionable; an independent and interdependent self construal construct should be considered. Regardless, the concept of self construal provides a valuable insight into different serves as a link between well established social cognitive behavior theories and culture based on the Chinese cultu re context lay the foundation for this paper. Their research findings may help to examine and explain questions that will emerge in this study.
40 Chinese Culture and its Impact on Physical Activity Participation exercise preference, motivation, constraints and participation it is necessary to examine the philosophies, ideologies and personality traits that shape the Chinese culture and behavior of the Chinese people. First and foremost, the influence of Confucian ism on the cognitive process of the Chinese people, behavior and society cannot be overrated. As a doctrine, Confucianism has existed in China for approximately two thousand years and is deeply rooted in Chinese cultural psychology, exhibiting lasting infl interpersonal relationships, self perception, social norms and societal values. Few conducted, and its influence is noticeable. The first crit ical element pointed by Yu and Bairner (2011) is the anti physical culture implied in Confucian literature and practice that is reflected in distinguishing between Wen and Wu which hough both Wen and Wu bureaucratic system, the demonstration of literary knowledge, as implied by Wen, was held in high regard in ancient Chinese society compared to Wu which represents physical strength and skills. Even Wu, crucial in military strategy and martial merits, was still not upheld as a Confucian ideal. The mind over body ideal (Wen over Wu) could also be seen in the academic setting, resulting in liberal art s and physical training either or mindset. As Yu and Bairner (2011) have pointed out, that in present day Chinese society, physical education receives similar treatment as Wu in ancient China; it could ioritized.
41 In addition to anti physical culture, the implications of Confucianism particularly human body is non ned with the overall low status of women in Chinese culture/society, the physical and leisure activity of women is further constrained by economic, domestic, social and cultural aspects. gentl e is undergoing transformation, where Western culture is increasin gly valued and upheld by the Taiwanese people. More research is on younger Chinese generations is needed in order to examine the extent to which Confucianism still dictates the physical and leisure participation of women. Finally, the social implications of the Confucianist construct are unique to Chinese otherwise indicates poor social ski and social success is comp liance with in group norms and the maintenance of the a predictor of face loss, is more significant among Hong Kong Chinese than Americans. Confucianism dictates the n orms that permeate all aspects of daily life (i.e. activities and interactions) from teacher student relationships to wife husband courtesy, from
42 knowledge acquisition to manner mastery in different social settings. For Chinese people, social norms have st ronger impact on their behavior particularly in interpersonal relationships in order to save face. To summarize, Confucianism still plays an important role in determining Chinese exercise and leisure participation, a better understanding of Confucianism would help to decode the unique attitude, perception and behavior of Chinese people and further contribute to the understanding and development of social cognitive theories. Theory Integration The theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints theory from motivational and constraint perspective seek to examine and explain physical exercise behavior. Although each theory, with its well established constructs and measurement method has been confirmed and reinforced by empirical studies, there are still limi tations in certain aspects that make theory integration a worthwhile and necessary effort. For instance, according to Fishbein and Ajzen (2010), the beliefs and values contributi ng to the formation of attitude, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control still remain uncertain. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the predictive ability of the subjective norm construct has been widely questioned. It was also shown in leisure cons traints research that more attention was directed to understand interpersonal and structural constraints, while less attention was given to intrapersonal issues, which entails personal beliefs that affect exercise non participation and preference. On the o ther hand, theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model shared several underlying similarities. Firstly, intrapersonal constraints could be considered as negative behavioral beliefs, which contribute to the formation of negative
43 attitude toward s exercise. Similarly, interpersonal constraints could have the same influence on exercise participation as negative normative beliefs when they are perceived as negative social pressure. It was believed that an integrated model of these two t heories could help to minimize the ir limitations and contribute to the theoretical development in exercise behavior research. The purpo se of the study was to apply the theory of planned behavior and the leisure constraints model in order to examine and explore physical exercise participation among Chinese graduate students. The predictive capacity of its constructs has been widely confirmed by empirical studies. To incorporate the leisure constraints model in this study, the model could serve as a complementary model to the theory of planned behavior to explore factors behind nonparticipating. The theory of planned behavior factors. At the same time, leisure constraints literature with fo cus on cross cultural issues, particularly within Chinese cultural contexts, lays a foundation for this cultural comparison study. Finally, cultural pattern studies with their recent development of self construal concept bridges well establish physical and leisure participation theories and their target cultural context. In the data analysis stage of this study, the concept of self construal might help to explain the difference of participation and preference shown in research result s
44 CHAPTER 3 METHODOL OGY Introduction The purpose of this study was to examine American and Chinese graduate behavior, with a focus on the exploration and examination of cultural and social norms beliefs. In addition, constraining factors from intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural perspectives were retrieved from nding of their exercise constraints. When constraints were successfully overcome, nego tiation strategies were also examined and discussed Furthermore, the theory of planned behavior and the leisure constraints model were compared to identify similarities and differences in an effort to initiate theory integration. This chapter seeks to describe the following aspects of the research design in this study: (a) participants and sampling, (b) procedure, (c) instruments, (d) data analysis, and (e) trustworthine ss. Participants and Sampling Criterion sampling was used in this study (Patton, 2002). Fifteen participants were selected based on the following criteria: (a) University of Florida (UF) graduate student, (b) balanced number of male and female participant s, (c) half were Chinese students and half were American students, and (d) regular engagement in physical exercise, which was defined as activities performed at a vigorous intensity three or more times per week for at least 30 minutes per session. The Chin ese participants were primarily contacted through the UF Chinese Fellowship Association, which largely consisted of
45 graduate students. American participants were selected from acquaintances of the researcher, including patrons and participants in UF Southw est Recreation Center and Student Recreation and Fitness Center. In addition, the snowball recruitment method was used to reach out to participants who met the research sample criteria. Conducting a study of Chinese and American graduate students, this r esearch approach facilitated the exploration of cultural and social influence on exercise motivation and constraint. As a great amount of theory of planned behavior research has been conducted among American participants, consistency with previous literatu that emerged from Chinese subjects were hoped to be valuable and constructive to theory development. The purpose of selecting graduate students for this study was due to the fact that Chinese international students accounted for a large percentage of the graduate student population at UF. Chinese participants were screened so that they were both born and raised in China and only came to the United States to pursue higher educa tion. Though population, they were either Chinese Americans, or had attended high school in the US, which diluted Chinese social and cultural influences on their exercise pa rticipation. sports and exercise participation behavior would have occurred within Chinese cultural s and values.
46 should reveal insights and reflections on the cultural differences, as well as their sports and exercise motivations and behaviors. There were potential limitations concerning the sampling method of this study. First, interviews were conducted in English with all participants. While most Chinese graduate students were proficient in English, discrepancy could still exist when they use a second language to e xpress their feelings and describe their behaviors and activities in China. Thus, in order to overcome this language barrier, it was advisable for the researcher to prepare a Chinese interview guide and interpret essential concepts in Chinese, so that part icipants could overcome potential language barriers. Secondly, some of the participants were personal acquaintances, and previous knowledge of the subjects may limit the exploration of their belief systems. To minimize this limitation, the majority of the subjects were people who were referred to this study by personal friends, or were participants or patrons encountered in a group fitness class or the weight and conditioning room at UF Campus Recreational Center, where the researcher worked as a group fitn ess instructor and fitness associate. Procedure A semi structural interview approach was adopted for this study. The semi structural interview is a simpler research tool that is better suited to novice researchers than other, more structured tools, due to its flexibility (Tenenbaum & Driscoll, 2005). By using this interview design, the exploratory nature of qualitative research design is maintained and the basic research questions are covered. Thomas et al. (2010) stated, participation within the framework of the theory of planned behavior and leisure
47 constraints model. Ther efore, this study was expected to contribute new insight into physical exercise participation, particularly in regards to the current Chinese exercise belief system. The interview questions were designed so that they were based on previous theory of planne d behavior scales and the leisure constraints model. These questions were open ended in order to obtain information and elicit responses from the participants about their beliefs concerning sport and exercise cultural differences. All interviews were condu cted face to face, and lasted for approximately half an hour. The conversations were recorded using a digital voice recorder and later transcribed verbatim by the interviewer. The interview guide was translated into simplified Chinese by the researcher. Th is translated was utilized in case concepts needed to be explained or elaborated upon in Chinese to the participants for their accurate understanding of the interview questions. It was noted that though the interview was designed to use prepared questions, the flow of the interview and the order of the questions were subject to change. This encouraged an in depth exploration that could possibly go beyond the scope of the prepared questions. Finally, the recorded data were coded for themes. According to Ten enbaum and steps: data inspection, descriptive data identification, codes compar ison, theme development through codes aggregation, and the themes integration to evaluate the phenomenon under investigation. As coding continued, the method of constant
48 comparison was used to ensure that the coding was consistent throughout, by continuall y sifting and comparing elements (Richardson, 1996). Instruments The Theory of Planned Behavior questionnaire construction and qualitative preliminary research design was referred to when developing interview questions. As elicitation studies have provided researchers was important to identify the control beliefs, behavioral beliefs, and normative beliefs determining perceived behavior control, attitude, and subjective norms. In the study, physical exercise was defined as activities performed at a vigorous intensity for at least 30 minutes, three or more times per week, for the next three weeks. At titude phy sical activities at least three times per week and for approximately 30 minutes per yo question asked participants to list the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in the exercis ing for at least 30 minutes, three times per week, for the three consecutive beliefs.
49 Subjective norms. Subjective norms are defined as perceived pressure, with approval or disapproval, from significant others. There are two dimensions within this construct expectation. The following questions were to be asked: your sign Moreover, in order to elicit normative beliefs, participants were asked to list the vior. Perceived behavior control. Perceived behavior control refers to the easiness or difficulty in maintaining regular physical and leisure activities. Subjects were first asked to evaluate whether it was difficult to engage in one or more physical activ ities over a consecutive three week period, and to identify the perceived barriers that hamper or factors that facilitate the successful implementation of the task. Barriers could be income, leisure time, resources, physical conditions, etc. Finally, in or der to further explore control beliefs, subjects were asked to indicate the possibility that those barriers could be overcome. Interview questions asked participants to list the following: you from exerci sing for at least 30 minutes, three times per week, for the next Past behavior. While it is not a construct in the theory of planned behavior, past behavior or habit has been frequently incorporated into the planned behavior theory
50 research design in order to predict future behavior. Empirical research has supported the predictive ability of past behavior on future behavior. In the context of physical phy explore their favored activities, preferred time and location, and length of participation. Leisure Constraints Model Interview questions within the theoretical framew ork of the leisure constraints model follow the hierarchical order that leisure constraints encounter like intrapersonal constraints, interpersonal constraints, and structural constraints. Moreover, as negotiation efforts are highlighted in previous litera ture, when constraints are negotiation efforts, strategies, and resources. This is to overcome the constraints presented in their leisure time physical exercise particip ation. It was noted that items from previous research questionnaires served as guidelines to lead the interview; however, subjects were expected to explore the barriers they perceived and experienced within their own frame of reference, as well as cultural and social settings. In addition, since the subjects of this study were from two different cultural and social backgrounds, culture may have played an important role in the emergence and negotiation of leisure constraints. According to Chick and Dong (200 logically prior to intrapersonal, interpersonal and most structural leisure constraints study, it was necessary for the researcher to keep cultural factors as a reference when conducting the interviews.
51 Intrapersonal constraints. In this construct, subjects were asked to identify intrapersonal constraints that hampered their physical exercise. The following questions were asked: What makes you want to participate in exercise three or more times per week Interpersonal constraints. As the second level of leisure constraint model, interpersonal constraints included difficulties stemming from interpersonal relationships. Que stions concerning interpersonal constraints included the following: e people you work out Structural constraints. The last stage of leisure constraints is structural constraints, such as lack of time, lack of equipm ent, financial constraints, transportation etc. Subjects were asked to name and rank the obstacles they faced as follows. u compromise your exercise schedule due to lack of Negotiation strategies When leisure constraints are encountered, active negotiation strategies may be developed to overcome the obstacle and realize exercise participation. Interview questions in this section included:
52 e lack of time Data Analysis Inter view recordings were transcribed verbatim and prepared for data analysis. Data analysis is the process of making sense of the data. According to Shank (2002), in qualitative research, it is a misperception that notions and themes emerge from the data. Rath process that requires astute questioning, a relentless search for answers active for themes, constant comparison strategy and memoing techniques were also used to actively discover new themes and obtain meanings from the data. As Rubin suggested in his 2005 study, the data analysis process starts with coding for concepts and notions explicitly pr esented in interview questions and theories, such as attitude towards physical activity and strategies used to overcome leisure constraints. It was noted that well established quantitative research on physical activity participation provided well defined c oncepts and constructs from which this qualitative study began. More attention and effort were directed at the identification and categorization of themes, the notions explaining the formation of beliefs, perceptions on constraints, and the decision making process of physical activity participation. The
53 coding process started from specific to general, with codes fitting together and themes taking shape. Following the initial coding for themes based on categorization of constructs, open coding was applied t o obtain direct information from the subjects without imposing theoretical and categorical perception. Conducting an open coding content analysis, in motivation and c onstraints. Analysis grounded in actual data laid the foundation for theory integration. Moreover, the open coding approach helped to break down the boundaries of the theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model to explore theory integration po ssibilities. To ensure the consistency of coding, especially since two cultural contexts were involved in this study, the constant comparison coding technique was used throughout data analysis process. Constant comparison originates from the grounded theor y methodology and is later applied as a content analytic strategy. According to Thorne (2000), the constant comparison strategy involves comparing one piece of data with all others that may share similarities or differences in order to conceptualize possib le relation between different data and themes. Applying the constant comparison strategy also facilitated theory integration efforts between the theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model, as suggested in literature review. Trustworthiness To enhance the validity and credibility of the qualitative research result s member checking, also known as respondent validation, was used to establish the level of correspondence between and subjec checkin g has been referred to
54 pretation back to subjects for confirmation (Creswell & Miller, 2000). Member checking is considered as the most effective way of minimizing or even eliminating misinterpretation (Maxwell, 1996). After the interviews, the researcher answers to the questions, in an effort to look for discrepancy and reduce error s generated from misinterpretation. Furthermore, the memoing technique was adopted throughout the data collection and analysis process. Memoing refers to reflective notes including ideas and insights recorded by researcher during the data collection and a nalysis process. According to assist the researcher in making conceptual leaps form raw data to those abstractions that explain research phenomena in the context in which use of memoing contributed to the effectiveness of the research experience, as well as the exploration and interpretation of physical exercise participation within different social and cultural contexts. This is due to the fact that the researcher was able to stay true and close to the data during the qualitative research process.
55 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS In this study, fifteen participants, eight Chinese and seven American graduate students, were interviewed and the data was recorded and transcribed. The data analysis stage started with coding based on the theoretical frameworks of the theory of planned behavior and leisure constraints model. Themes and categories were developed from constructs within each theory. Then, an ope n coding approach followed. This allowed the researcher to step back from the previously established themes and categories in order to give the data a fresh scrutiny for patterns and meanings. Recurring themes were identified, compared, and segmented into different categories. During the process of data collection and coding, memos were written to reflect the perceived through comparison with old data. Moreover, interview techniques learned from previous interviews were also highlighted in the memos to be used in the coming interviews. In addition, member checking in the form of follow up phone interviews, was conducted to provide opportunities for participants to correct their response, as well as to allow the researcher to access the adequacy and validity of the preliminary findings. This section describes the results of this study and identifies salient physical exercise th rough behavioral, normative, and control beliefs within the theory of planned behavior, and exercise constraints using the leisure constraints model. Moreover, the results of an open coding approach were also presented to provide a unified understanding of
56 identified and discussed. To support the themes, related quotations were presented. Pseudonyms were a lso used to protect the anonymity of participants.
57 Table 4 1. Demographic Characteristics Participant Age Gender Nationality Major Year in School Exercise Activities Times per Week Danica 27 Female American Law S chool s econd year in Law School Turbo Kick e lliptical trainer, 7 Kristina 23 Female American clinical p sychology f irst year master student ZUMBA Pilates 3 Jade 23 Female American sport m anagement f irst year master student w eight lifting, kickboxing, 3 Stefan 29 Male American agricultural s cience t hird year PhD student r ock climbing, stadium conditioning 3 Stewart 24 Male American I nformation syst ems and operations m anagement s econd year master student f lag football, weight lifting, basketball 3 Andrew 23 Male American sport m anagement f irst year master student boot camp, kettlebell, basketball, racquetball 5 Dave 24 Male American computer e ngineering s econd year master student c ycling, running 3
58 Table 4 1. Continued Participant Age Gender Nationality Major Year in School Exercise Activities Times per Week Mai 24 Female Chinese public relation second year master student basketball, dancing 3 Ran 25 Female Chinese civil engineering third year PhD student ZUMBA Turbo Kick running, yoga 3 Ying 25 Female Chinese biology science and engineering third year PhD student badminton, yoga 3 Peng 28 Male Chinese geography second year master student swimming, strength training 6 Mike 23 Male Chinese sport management first year master student basketball, running, strength training 3 Ray 23 Male Chinese material science and engineering first year master student running, strength raining 6 Su 25 Male Chinese computer engineering second year master student basketball, running, strength training 3
59 The Theory of Planned Behavior Behavioral Beliefs: Advantages and Disadvantages According to the Chinese and American graduate participants, it was revealed that the most salient advantages of performing regular physical exercise are as follows: to improve health and fitness, to improve mood and mental well being, to improve social li fe, to gain muscle, to reduce study related stress, and to obtain a sense of achievement. Table 4 2 Theory of Planned Behavior Approach Concepts Key T hemes Total (N=15) Chinese (n=8) Americans (n=7) Behavioral Beliefs Advantages Health and fitness 13 6 7 Mental well being 13 6 7 Social life 8 3 5 Weight control/lose 7 5 2 Reduce study stress 6 4 2 Sense of achievement 6 4 2 Gain muscles 6 5 1 Disadvantages Pain and injury 5 2 3 Normative Beliefs Approve Family 14 7 7 Friends 15 8 7 Significant others 8 3 5
60 Table 4 2 Continued Concepts Key Themes Total (N=15) Chinese (n=8) Americans (n=7) Disapprove Family 1 1 0 Significant Others 2 2 0 Control Beliefs Facilitators Social support 11 4 7 Convenience 9 5 4 Pleasure 9 5 4 Low cost 6 3 3 More time 3 2 1 Barriers Lack of time 10 4 6 Inconvenience 5 4 1 Lack of knowledge and skills 5 5 0 Lack of social support 2 2 0 Past Behavior Competitive sport experience 8 3 5 Gym exercise experience 13 6 7 Hea lth and fitness benefits appeared to be the first and foremost reason that motivated graduate students to engage in active physical exercise. Participants expressed that exercise helped to ke e them feel
61 body. It was noticeable that for Chinese participants, male s in particular, gaining muscles through exercise was freque ntly mentioned as their fitness goals. Exposed to the American sports and fitness culture a str ong and As Mike strong, especially white guys and African Americans, so I could at least try my best to ssfully achieved his weight loss goal three years ago in China, wanted to learn more about At the same time, participants also identified mental benefits that accompanied the physical fitness and health benefits. According to their statements, exercise participation made them feel good about themselves, improved their mood, and made th em feel happier and more positive. It was noted that most of the participants who felt happy and positive about exercise also found the activities fun and enjoyable. Whether it was a ZUMBA rt of the exercise became the main factor that drove them to choose one activity over another, and further enhanced their continuous participation. As two participants described, Danica: I love Turbo Kick class; I find it so much fun. I do it everyday. If there is no Turbo Kick class (in the gym), I memorized a round and I will do it by myself. Ming: There is definitely something special about ZUMBA like if you do ZUMBA you get sweaty a lot, and have a really good feeling afterwards. But if you do on e ZUMBA you get so many girls doing it with you, they have smile on their faces, time passes very quick ly. I enjoy it very much.
62 In addition to physical and mental advantages, participants also ident ified that the social aspect of exercise was also something they found beneficial. Through sports second year public relations graduate student, met most of her male friends through playing basketball since she came to U.S. When asked what was special about tant About half of the participants indicated that physical exercise brought them a sense of achievement as they mastered new skills, adopted a well balanced lifestyle, and demonstrated their leadership through sport competit ion. Different from enjoyment they find in exercise, the sense of achievement and fulfillment further enhanced, and expanded their self perception. Ray, a first year material science and engineering graduate student, expressed his sense of accomplishment a fter sticking to a workout a workout plan for three years. Can you do that? I want others think me of someone with self Additionally, participants also r eported that regular exercise was effective for weight control and stress reduction. It was noted that PhD students more frequently regarded exercise as a method of stress reduction. Taking courses, conducting research, and assisting in professor instructi on, Ph.D. students dealt with more responsibilities and bigger study induced stress than other graduate students. These factors made them more willing to use exercise as a stress reduction outlet.
63 For behavioral disadvantages, though most participants fou nd no downside to their exercise plan, pain and injury were still identified by several participants who had experienced injuries. Jade was suffering from a foot injury since last December, which constrained her from running. Another participant, Dave, rec eived a bone fracture during cycling practice and would not be able to race for three months. Several other participants also recalled normal, minor injuries as they played competitive sports. During the recovery period, participants chose alternative exer cise options. For example, Dave started stationary cycling while recovering from his bone injury. Moreover, injury prevention such as improving muscle strength and gradual progression were brought up by the participants as well. Normative Beliefs: Soci al Pressure Participants reported several individuals or groups of people who would approve their participation in regular exercise. Almost all of participants found their parents and friends supportive, but several participants discussed that significant others would disapprove or became potential barrier in case of conflicting time demands. In a relationship, they sometimes would compromise exercise to spend time with thei r partners. In the words of Peng, it will affect me a lot. In a relationship, you spend a lot of time with each other. If the couple enjoys the same exercise, they can do it together. Otherwise, I see it as a constraint. However, none of participants felt any pressure from any individual or group to perform or avoid any exercise. As Kristina suggested, more of a self motivated thing. Definitely, the society is encouraging what it
64 is to be healthy. When I think I need you need to go. Also, Mike morning. And I do find running is helpful in weigh me running to strength training. However, Mike started his strength training since he came to US. He talked with his parents every week over Skype, though his father would ask him about whether he had been working out, Mike influence is very important, but when you grow up, you realize the benefits of exercise, Control Beliefs Facilitating factors Social support was identified as the most imp ortant facilitator. One participant, Ming, poignantly noted, Friends who are active and doing exercise helps, they remind me to keep it social media that much, my friends have an influence on me. So if my close friends do a lot of exercise, I will try their lifestyle. In addition to social support, convenience to sports and fitness facilities were identified as another important facilitator. Participants spent 15 minutes at most to ge t to an exercise facility by driving a car riding a bike or walking. One participant Danica lived in an on campus apartment which was across the street to Southwest Recreational Center. As Danica explained, Southwest Rec is right down there, and to Student Rec, I can ride my bike for about 15 minutes. Being a university student, that is the easiest circum Even though living off campus, Kristina still
65 figured out a way to make her exercise easier, Kristina explained, cks to my imp rove convenience. For instance, when Stefan just had arrived in Gainesville he chose his current apartment based on its closeness to Rock Climbing Gym and Southwest Recrea tional Center. Similarly, the purchase of a car made it easier and more convenient for Ray to stick to his exercise schedule. Another salient facilitating factor w as the pleasure participants experienced from their exercise. Even though activities mentioned by participants had a great variety, the similarities they experienced were in the level of enthusiasm they showed towards the exercise. For Danica, Turbo Kick ZUMBA was Low cost, as a facilitating control belief, also played an important role in the easiness of participants to exercise. In the case of universities students, low cost was actually free access to a range of sports and fitness facilities. Even for those participants who purchased gym or club memberships and frequented faciliti es elsewhere, low cost were still an attraction. Stefan paid $150 dollars for a semester month Lastly, participants also suggested that with more free time, they were likely to
66 program. He went to work ou the day to go to group fitness classes, which she believed would be impossible after references were always used when the participants suggested that an increase of free time during any noted period of time became a facilitating factor in their exercise participation. Inhabiting factors Lack of time was identified as the most salient, inhabiting control belief among Chinese and American participants. Probing questions revealed that lack of time as an inhabiting factor resulted from two types of caucuses. These two caucuses were competing time demands and poor time management. For the first type, when time for exercise was in conflict with other activities, such as meeting a good friend, going to movie with girlfriend, doing experiments in the lab, or going home to spend time with families participants indicated they would compromise exercise, because they attached greater importance to the other activities and found them necessary. As Yao cancel the p Three weeks ago I missed (workout) on Tuesday, because I was meeting are important to me However, in the case of missing exercise due to poor time management, participants reflected on the necessity to improve their time management skills. One week before a deadline, Stefan c ancelled all of his exercise and stayed up late working
67 time to keep his exercise schedule. Interestingly, Jade, a group fitness graduate assistant, also found it diffi cult to find time for exercise, even though she went to gym were so many people I know in the gym, I always stopped and talked to them. Or even if I finished my work at problem, she found that to prioritize exercise, she could work out in the morning, right after she came to the gym, which proved to be effective in keeping her exercise schedule and also helpi ng her to stay focused on work throughout the day. Apart from lack of time, three other control barriers were more frequently mentioned among Chinese participants. These three control barriers were: lack of knowledge, lack of social support, and inconveni ence. Several participants expressed that their lack of knowledge, in regards to such topics as strength training and exercise science, which prevented them from performing certain activities. Chinese male participants emphasized the need to acquire more k nowledge about strength training and equipment usage to better their exercise techniques in the weight room. In contrast, female participants wanted to learn more about the benefits of different group fitness exercises, such as Pilates and interval trainin g. Secondly, lack of social support, particularly not having friends to work out with, was presented as another inhibiting factor for Chinese participants. For Mai, basketball was her passion since high school, but it was very difficult for her to find Ch inese girls who would join in her game. Though she played with guy friends, she still found that,
68 e here and I can do Additionally, inconvenience to sport and fitness facilities became another cons training factor for Chinese participants. Mike found it difficult to go to the gym as frequently as he wanted because he did not have a car. Similarly, Ray recalled his first semester in Gainesville. Ray was without a car and he had never been the gym on c ampus, which had a far better facility than the one in his apartment. Also, Mai was dependent upon on her friends to get a ride to the gym to play basketball. It was noted that compared with American participants, who took into consideration the distance t o sports and fitness facilities when looking for an apartment, Chinese participants did not prioritize this factor as they had just arrived in a new country and were dealing with various adjustment challenges. Past behavior insight into understanding and explaining their current exercise participation, previous e xercise participation, particularly when they were in China, was different from the Americans in exercise variety. It was found that most of American participants had various sports experiences in college, high school, and even earlier. These prior experie nces included gymnastics, baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, golf, and soccer, while sports frequently mentioned by Chinese participants were limited to basketball and soccer, mostly amongst the Chinese males.
69 Moreover, Chinese participants indic ated that their sport involvement was at a recreational level due to lack of professional training and competition opportunities, while American participants discussed more sports competition experience. For instance, several Chinese participants who playe d basketball discussed their discomfort in the beginning to play full court, rather than half court, in a pick up game. In addition to sports involvement, Chinese and American participants had different exercise experiences in gym settings. For most Chine se participants, during their undergraduate years, there were no gym facilities accessible to college students, particularly with group fitness classes and weight rooms. Their experience was mostly from commercial fitness centers where they purchased a mem bership. Secondly, according to Chinese participants, the activities that were most frequently offered were weightlifting and yoga classes, while American participants had exposure to more campus recreation options, including rock climbing, dance classes, mind and body fitness classes, strength training, and so forth. However, it was noted that Chinese participants with previous gym experience were likely to engage in the same activities they performed in China. For instance, Yao Ying used to go to a commer cial gym for yoga class in China, and now yoga was the only group fitness class she took, other than playing badminton. Similarly, before coming to United States, Su received one year of personal training in a fitness center. He indicated that his strength training was now the same when his personal trainer had worked with him two years ago. Though it would be arbitrary to indicate a causal relationship between past past
70 cross cultural experience and adjustment to a new environment, would facilitate the u nderstanding of their current exercise participation. Leisure Constraints Table 4 3. Leisure Constraints Theory Approach Concepts Key themes T T otal ( ( N =15) Chinese (n = 8) Americans (n = 7) Intrapersonal Constraints Lack of interest 5 2 3 Lack of knowledge and skills 5 5 0 Body image issues 4 4 0 Injury 4 1 3 Interpersonal Constraints Friends 6 5 1 Significant others 3 2 1 Parents 1 1 0 Fear of criticism / judgment 1 1 0 Gender 1 1 0 Structural Constraints Lack of time 10 4 6 Unavailability of facilities / equipment 4 3 1 Location and transportation t 2 2 0 Negotiation Strategies Time management 11 5 6
71 Table 4 3. Continued Concepts Key themes T TTo tal ( ( ( N =15) Chinese (n = 8) Americans (n = 7) Improve social support 6 4 2 Acquire knowledge and skills 5 5 0 0 Improve transportation 2 2 Intra personal C onstraints One of the most frequently mentioned intrapersonal constraints among American and Chinese graduate students was lack of interest. They disliked activities that were How ever, this lack of interest factors did not necessarily result in nonparticipation; rather, it affected their exercise preferences. Lack of interest was the reason they said no to one activity, but they were likely to engage in activities they found intere sting. For instance, Danica chose a Turbo Kick (kickboxing) class over other group fitness options. Danica explained that Turbo Kick long time. If cycling is the only exercise optio n I have, I will do it. But I will interest definitely impact your choices. Also as Ming mentioned, really hard for me to run 30 minutes without something you can focus on. But if you do one hour ZUMBA time goes so quickly. I enjoy it. Moving beyond disinterest, two other prominen t constraining factors were frequently mentioned by Chinese participants: body image issues and lack of
72 knowledge and skills. Female Chinese participants, in particular, expressed that they would not participate in strength training because they did not wa nt to gain any ideal body image. Mai enjoyed playing basketball and dancing, but had never been to a weight room or attended any strength group fitness classes. As she like muscles; strength training will make my body look too muscular. I would just do to be healthy and slim and skinny. So I only take ZUMBA and Core classes. For core exercise, I want to have tight abs. When people look at you, they would say you are skinny but still have strength. But six packs would be definitely too much. However, after staying in the U.S. for years, and as the Chinese students adjusted to new culture environment, some of them had changed their ideal body image. Ying came to U.S. three years ago to pursue Ph.D. in Agriculture and Biology Engineering. She attended yoga cla ss twice a week, and played badminton on weekends with her Chinese friends. Though she had only been to the weight room once, she expressed her interest in some strength group fitness classes, as she r Ph.D. student Ming usually went to the gym for jogging and ZUMBA classes, but she decided to work out her upper body more. In response to the question about what triggered her decision, she discussed the transformation of her ideal body image she had ex perienced lately. Ming stated The thing that surprised me the most is that there are a lot of runners passing by the complex I live. I can see them in the morning, afternoon, and even midnight. When the girls pass me, I look at their body and I feel beautiful. I have changed my standard of beauty. Back in China, girls
73 without any muscle or tone and look vulnerable are considered beautiful, something I consider as beauty now. In addition to body image issues, another constraint impeding Chinese male and female participants was lack of knowledge and skills. Most of the Chinese participants discussed that they felt intimidated in the weight room; they did not know how to use the eq uipment or what kind of exercises they could do with it. Unlike American students who were exposed to a gym environment and acquired strength training knowledge since freshman year or earlier, the weight room was a new concept for most Chinese students. Fo r example, Ray, a first year engineering graduate student, emphasized that the biggest constraint for him was lack of professional exercise knowledge. Ray I have to f Mike, a first year sports management student, who had finished his undergraduate study in a sports university and had access to a range of sports and fitness facilities bac k in China, still felt it was imperative to learn more about professional training like to learn more about body anatomy and the terminologies to better communicate with fitness, as she developed lower back pain and was told by the physician that she needed to improve her core strength to alleviate the stress on her back resulting from sitting for hours on end. Lastly, participants in American and Chinese groups identified how injury had become a physical constraint to their exercise routines. Jade suffered from a foot injury
74 half a year ago during a TOUGH MUDDER military obstacle race. It constrained her from participating in distance running. Another participant noted that he sprained his ankle quite often while playing basketball. However, they also mentioned the adjustments they made to their exercise schedule helped to keep them active, inhabiting factors. Interpersonal Constraints As with interpersonal constraints, it was revealed that Chinese participants were more interp ersonally constrained than American participants. Friends were suggested as the most common interpersonal constraint in exercise participation. This often took the form of the absence of friends with whom to workout with, causing restrictions to some parti Similarly, Ran explained why she felt the pressure to exercise with friends stating, If I am alon e, I can get lazy easily. Sometimes, I just feel people would say s to gym by herself. Also, some Chinese participants were dependent upon their friends support and companionship to carry out certain exercise activities. For instance, Ray regarded his scientific approach, which made it less effective and efficient than he wanted. Consequently, he was dependent upon a workout buddy who had more exercise knowledge than he had.
75 In addition to friends, significant others also emerged as a constraining factor in compromised her workout. In addition, she pointed out, but I think there is more of a comfort area, you feel being accepted regardless. Participant Another two interpersonal constraints, fear of other criticism or judgment and gender issues, though not common among participants, provided valuable insight into the challenges faced by some Chinese female participants. For Mai, the difficulty in finding Chinese girls to play basketball with was the biggest limitation for her exercise game was missing. For Ming, what was holding her back was her attitude. She explained, If someon e is watching at me while I do ZUMBA I may feel exercise; you really need to enjoy yourself to do it really good. If I pay too
76 move beyond her comfort zone and get more involved in exercise; however, it is entirely possible that there are more Chinese students struggling with such fears, which prevent them from even stepping into a dancing class. Structural Constraints Compared wi th intrapersonal constraints and interpersonal constraints, structural constraints were more frequently mentioned by Chinese and American participants. The most common structural constraint was time, which was manifested in several ways. Firstly, competing demands on time, such as going out with friends, spending time with family, and study or work, always resulted in their compromise on exercise. ZUMBA class. I want to go, it starts at 4:30, but my advisor expected all of Ph.D. students stay in office from 8 am 5pm. I need to think about that they considered more important came up, it was necessary to miss their workout. As Peng expl Similarly, Kristina noted, Three weeks ago I missed (workout) on Tuesday, because I was meeting a frie
77 In addition to conflicting time demands, it was frequently sugg ested that time constraints also resulted from poor time management, particularly procrastination. When final exams and a projects deadline approached, participants suggested they cancelled all activities and would stay up late to finish their work. Third year Ph.D. ts management they think. Even myself I stay around in office, then go back home and do nothing for Moving beyond time constraints, availability of a facility or equ ipment was identified as a limitation for some participants with more individual needs. For example, the lack of a shower facility in the Student Recreation Fitness Center, which was out in between classes during daytime hours, because she needed to go home to take a shower and come back for work. For Mai, the group fitness online registration system made it difficult for her to just stop by and attend a class, because few spots would be left for evening fitness classes without preregistration. However, it was shown that this adjusting activities or schedule. Xing played badminton with friends every weeken d at the Southwest Recreational Center basketball court, which was exclusively used for badminton on weekend mornings. Though she had six hours each week to play, facility
78 hours were not enough for her; instead, she chose to attend yoga classes during the week to get in her workout. Last, but not least, inconvenient location and transportation presented a prominent constraint for Chinese participants. Mike came to the U.S. one year ago and he discussed that not having a car made it difficult for him to go to Southwest the gym; I have to wait in bus stop and take 15 minutes to get there, which is 5 at his exercise Recreation Center in my first semester because inconvenience, after buying a car, I go Overcoming Exercise Constrains: Negotiation Strategies To overcome intrapersonal constraints like lack of knowledge and skills, participants discussed strategies such as watching exercise videos online, going to instructed group fitness classes, and making friends who possessed strength training knowledge and ex perience, to acquire knowledge and facilitate their workout. For injury constraint, several participants expressed the necessity to give their body enough rest However, c onstraints including body image and the lack of interest did not have any accompanying negotiation strategies, according to participants. When it came to interpersonal constraints, participants discussed strategies to improve social support, including mak ing new friends with similar exercise interests in
79 Stefan, he even took it a step further to become a group fitness instructor to get more involved in the activities he enjoyed. As Stefan explained I started taking stadium conditioning class about two years ago, I started to meet some friends there and th en because I have friends there, I want to see my friends then I continue going. Then I start teaching stadium class. Compared with other types of constraints, various ways to overcome time constraints were more frequently discussed. This included priorit izing exercise, not procrastinating study or work, making exercise a routine, and adjusting exercise time due to competing time demands. Danica, a second year Law School student had stuck to her exercise schedule for more than six years, and she shared he r understanding on time management. Danica reflected, people to do it sporadically, because things com e up, you are not used to keep the schedule. But when it became your routine, like you do homework for two hours, then you go to Turbo Kick class to not do it. Although there were not a significant number of participants being constrained by location and transportation barriers at the time of the in terview, probing questions into their past behavior revealed that purchasing a car and moving closer to gym were effective methods to remove the location and transportation constraints. Open Coding Approach In addition to the data analysis of interview transcripts under the theory of planned behavior and the leisure constraints theory, an open coding approach was also adopted to explore a novel understanding on exercise motivation and constraints. Based on descriptive data and memos, as well as a member checking
80 process, five dominant themes emerged: values and beliefs, social support, attitude towards exercise participation was influenced largely by the perceived p hysical and mental benefits, while body image ideals shaped their acti vity reference. Altogether, these behavior. When it comes to interpersonal relationships, support could be divided into attitudina l support, in the form of verbal encouragement, and behavioral support, in the form of participation companionship. Moreover, facilitators and barriers were separately categorized, which was followed by negotiation strategies identified by participants to overcome exercise barriers. Table 4 4 Open Coding Approach Themes Values and Beliefs Social Support Facilitators Barriers Negotiation Strategies Physical wellbeing Attitudinal support Free time Lack of time Time Management Mental wellbeing Behavioral support Convenience Inconvenience Improve transportation Body image issues Pleasure Lack of knowledge and skills Improve social support Low cost Acquire knowledge and skills Values a nd beliefs Three categories were identified under the theme of exercise values and beliefs: physical well being, mental well being, and body image issues. According to
81 participants, physical exercise was valued for its health and fitness benefits. Also, participants attached greater importance to the mental health values they found in exercise, including improved self esteem, enjoyment, reduced stress, increased social beliefs on bod y image also played a critical role in exercise participation and activity participants respectively, participants navigated their exercise to realize their corresponding fi tness goals. Social support According to participant statements, the support they received from family, friends, and significant others could be divided into two categories: attitudinal support and behavioral support. Though most participants found the ir family, friends, and partners supportive and encouraging, it was their participation that was considered a source of motivation. In other words, working out with friends, making new friends through exercise activities, and belonging to an activity commu nity, enhanced the Facilitators Four exercise facilitating factors were identified: convenience, free time, pleasure, and low cost. According to participants, proximity to sport and fitness fac ilities and convenient transportation enhanced exercise frequency. In addition, an increase in free time would also contribute to their exercise participation. Thirdly, participants found that the nature of the exercise activity and the inherent pleasure c omponent of the exercise,
82 served as the driving force of their exercise preference and continuity. Finally, the low cost of the sport and fitness facilities appeared as an underlying facilitator. Barriers According to participants, initiating factors i ncluding lack of time, inconvenience, lack of knowledge, and skills were frequently mentioned. Time was the biggest constraint as participants always faced conflicting time demands. These demands included study, work, and time spent with family and friends Lack of knowledge and skills, regarding strength training techniques and health and fitness science, was another barrier inhibiting exercise participation, even though participants had perceived tly, the third category inconvenience, including transportation limitation and inaccessibility of exercise facilities, was another exercise barrier impeding participation frequency and continuity. Negotiation Strategies To remove exercise barriers and con straints, participants discussed strategies they developed to enhance their exercise experience. Strategies, included time management, the obtainment of professional knowledge and skills, the improvement of social support, and the improvement of transporta tion, which were shown to be effective methods applied by participants. It was noted that, due to successful application of negotiation strategies, barriers were actually dynamic factors that could be overcome, or even transformed, into facilitators. For i nstance, buying a car might not only remove the transportation limitation of exercise participation, but also facilitate
83 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Findings The purpose of the present study was to examine the u nderlying beliefs that contribute to the decision making process of physical exercise among graduate students using TPB as a theoretical framework, and particularly, to explore cultural and social beliefs specific to the Chinese student population through comparison. Salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs were elicited from American and Chinese participants. Consistent with previous literature, participants were able to identify the physical, mental, and social benefits of performing regular exe rcise. Moreover, reducing study stress and bringing a sense of achievement also emerged as important beliefs. Since all of the participants were enrolled in graduate programs, including both master and Ph.D. level programs, heavy study loads and correspond ing study pressures and stress could be expected and understood. The benefit of exercise to bring a sense of achievement was common among participants who were engaged in competitive sports, including basketball and flag football. Furthermore, it was impor tant to note that weight loss or control, and muscle building was salient behavioral beliefs among Chinese participants. As Chinese students came to the U.S. and immersed themselves in the American sports and fitness culture, their body image beliefs were either sustained or challenged, resulting in diverse exercise preferences. As with normative beliefs, even though almost all of the participants identified exercise participation, none of the participants suggested that they perceive any
84 running in th perform certain behavior, referred to as subjective norms, wo exercise behavior, the predictive capacity of subjective norms was questionable (Hausenblas et al., 1997, Hamilton & White, 2008; Chatzisarantis et al., 2009, 2010). Since the benefits of exercise are widely accepted by society, one is likely to receive positive responses towards exercise participation from parents, friends, and significant s ocial pressure, and did not contribute to behavioral change in the context of physical exercise. This issue was rarely addressed by previous studies. This study also identified numerous control beliefs, including facilitating and constraining factors, whic h affected exercise participation. Social support, such as having friends to exercise with, emerged as the most salient control belief that easier for participants to enh ance their exercise participation and frequency. Moreover, In addition, convenience and pleasure were also frequently mentioned as exercise facilitators. Convenience was attributed to the diverse and abundant campus recreational options and facilities being offered on campus. Pleasure, the inherent enjoyment participants found in different activities, appeared as the driving force towards exercise continuity.
85 When it came to exercise barriers, lack of time was the most common factor mentioned by both Chinese and American participants. Further examination revealed management skills. Furth ermore, the findings also suggested that lack of knowledge was a major exercise barrier among Chinese participants. Inadequate past exercise experiences, gym workout experience in particular, failed to provide Chinese participants with the necessary profes sional knowledge and skills needed to easily adapt to the American sports and fitness culture and practice. The second aim of this study was to explore and examine exercise inhibiting factors among Chinese and American graduate students using the leisure constraints model, and particularly look for constraints specific to the Chinese student population. Consistent with the previous leisure constraints literature (Crawford et al., 1991), the findings suggested that participants encounter constraints hierarc hically, following the order of intrapersonal constraints, interpersonal constraints, and structural constraints. For instance, as a Chinese participant perceived strength training as a muscle building exercise, which was in contrary to her ideal body imag e, such intrapersonal constraints would result in her nonparticipation without interpersonal and structural constraints coming in to affect. Moreover, the study also supported previous research on constraints negotiation (Crawford et al. 1991, 1993, Jacks on & Rucks, 1995). In the face of different levels of constraint, participants were actually actively engaged in efforts to remove barriers and enhance exercise experiences. For instance, purchasing vehicles and having workout partners were among the many strategies developed by
86 participants to remove transportation limitations and improve social support respectively. For intrapersonal constraints, it was shown that lack of knowledge and skills, as well as body image issues, were prominent intrapersonal ba rriers among Chinese participants. Without professional training knowledge and experience, participants failed to engage in activities they were not familiar with, and were unable to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their exercise. As for body i mage issues, participants were influenced by their ideal body image when making exercise choices. Therefore, body image issues tended to affect more in regards to exercise preference than participation. However, a combination of lack of knowledge and body image issues might result in nonparticipation. For instance, as most Chinese female participants discussed, they never engaged in any strength training for fear of building muscles, which was not acceptable according to their ideal body image. However, wit hout professional knowledge of strength training, and without taking training volume or repetition and frequency into consideration, arbitrarily associating strength training with a muscular body would deepen intrapersonal constraints and prevent any negot iation efforts to emerge. Another significant finding of this study was that the Chinese participants were more interpersonally constrained than American participants, which was consistent dents. Five judgment, and gender, were identified with Chinese participants presenting dominance cult for Chinese
87 participants to start and continue an exercise activity. Moreover, other factors including a certain gender, shed light upon the unique features of Chines e interpersonal relationships, which was a representation of Chinese cultural and social norms. Theory Integration The third purpose of this study was to compare TPB and the leisure constraints model and to identify the underlying similarities and differ ences concerning exercise beliefs. With a deepened understanding of TPB and the leisure constraints theory, through literature review and the results of the research, it was noted that a number of similarities were shared between these two theories. First ly, intrapersonal constraints could fundamentally be considered as behavioral beliefs and contribute to the formation of negative attitudes. Similarly, interpersonal constraints are negative social pressures perceived by participants. The major difference between interpersonal constraints and discouraging subjective norms are that interpersonal constraints encompass attitudinal constraints and behavioral constraints, while subjective norms ers. Moreover, a behavior, implies not only the presence of facilitators and barriers, but also the reflected in negotiation strategies in the leisure constraints theory. Based on these similarities, theory integration efforts are valid in bringing new insight into physical exercise behavior and contribute to theory development.
88 It is important to note frequently questioned in quantitative studies. It is also argued that culture plays an important role in social pressu re perception, which undermines the universal applicability of TPB across different cultures. As with the leisure constraints theory and similarly with TPB, the universal significance of interpersonal constraints is also questioned as different culture gro ups may attach different levels of importance to interpersonal constraints in a specific culture. Therefore, theory integration aims to combine the strength of each theory to enhan ce its general application. Given that both TPB and the leisure constraints theory were limited in their interpersonal relation constructs, findings from an open coding approach suggested new perspectives and social support. It was noted that social suppor t not only implied attitudinal support, the degree of positive attitude of others, but also behavioral support, and American participants, regardless of the degree of interpersonal constraints they faced, social support was a significant predictor in exercise participation. Nevertheless, in depth interviews and qualitative exploration were the initial stage of a series of efforts to develop a theoretical model with gen eral application. It is suggested that quantitative questionnaires can be disturbed broadly to test the generalizability of the model across cultures. Future research can also explore the interrelationship between TPB and the leisure constraints theory in order to develop a
89 well rounded, integrated model, and better the understanding of physical exercise behavior. Culture and Social Implications Throughout data analysis from TPB and the leisure constraints theoretical frameworks, there were three major to pics widely identified, which were contributable to Chinese culture norms and social conditions. Firstly body image issues appeared as According to Chinese female particip influence on ideal, physical appearance and body satisfaction. According to Leung et al. (2001), thinness and fragility were central to Chinese feminine beauty throughout female figure (Hausenblas & Fallon, 2006). Though both emphasized the slenderness impact on their exercise selection, which may have become a constraint for some participants. In this study, this information was supported by Chinese female exercise, which they believed would build unwanted muscle tones. Moving beyond the scope of this study, it is entirely possible that some Chinese female graduate students may have stayed inactive or have just engaged in low intensity exercise to meet their ideal body image, or even have used dieting to control weight. identified in this study, which was not a common theme among previous literature.
90 According to Barnett et al. (200 1), Chinese men rarely expressed concerns about masculinity. Another study found that Chinese college students had fewer concerns with masculinity, and less dissatisfaction, than their Western male counterparts (Yang et al., 2005). However, rapid social ch anges in China, and exposure to the Western coming increasingly hybrid in globalizing social context and immersed themselves in American culture and lifestyle, acculturation occurred as they began seeking ways to be accepted by American culture, physically and psychologically. From their observation on American males, lifting weights in the gym, jumping in basketball courts, or running on the track, it became imperative for Chinese students to associate themselv es with such a lifestyle, along with exercise methods and untimely muscular body images. In sum, body image issues were presented as a motivating factor for Chinese male participants, particularly encouraging them to learn and engage in strength training. The weight room, as frequently mentioned by Chinese male participants, became a novel arena with transformational power to reshape what they believe of as an empowered self. reflecte d in their attitude towards anaerobic training, was the most interesting finding of this study. It was noted that Chinese female participants were also subject to acculturation; their thin and skinny body ideal could be challenged and replaced by a fit and toned beauty standard. As with what happened to Ming, she changed her standard
91 strength training. Moving beyond body image issues, another finding of the study was that Chinese participants suffered from more interpersonal constraints than the American participants. Consistent with previous studies (Walker et al., 2007), even though social s upport, particular having a friend to workout with, was a motivating factor for Chinese and American graduate students to enhance exercise participation and frequency, Acco rding to the concept of individualism and collectivism, highly individualistic countries like United States emphasize values such as autonomy, uniqueness, and personal achievement, while collective nations like China stress values such as social norms, co o peration, and group identity ( Triands, 1989). With respect to exercise their lack of exercise experience in an individual and autonomous setting, was reflected through how they always cared about how their behavior was perceived by others, in addition to being influenced by their attitude. Therefore, even though they had successfully overcome time and distance constraints, activities like going to the gym alone, were a psyc Another theme that emerged from the data was the lack of exercise knowledge among Chinese participants. This limitation was attributable to the sports and fitness condition and college curriculum designed in China. First of all, as most participants
92 suggested, in most colleges and universities in China, there was no free fitness center available for students. College sports and fitness facilities were limited to outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, track and field, and soccer fields. A well equipped gym including cardio machines, weight rooms, and group fitness classes was only accessible through commercial health and fitne ss centers. Moreover, though physical education was mandatory for freshman and sophomore students in Chinese universities, it failed to provide systematic knowledge on exercise science, training techniques, and skills to introduce students to more diverse activities. These two factors, underdeveloped campus sports and fitness facilities and physical education limitations, consequently constrained Chinese participants from engaging in effective and diverse exercise activities. Furthermore, since college is a critical stage for knowledge acquisition and health habit formation, failure to cultivate regular exercise participation. The findings of this study have important implications for university sports, fitness, and recreational programs in the United States. To meet the unique needs of Chinese international students studying at U.S. universities, it is suggested that International Student Centers and Campus Recreation al Sports Departments cooperate together to initiate exercise education orientations and workshops for Chinese students. These programs should include basic exercise science, training methods, and health and nutrition, as well as descriptions of programs a nd courses available on campus. In addition, given that campus recreation programs in China failed to fulfill college
93 of sports and fitness facilities, and the developme nt of exercise programs. Also, it is suggested that college physical education faculty and coordinators incorporate exercise science into current curriculum, providing relevant exercise knowledge that could be applied after college. Furthermore, the findin g also suggests practical implications for commercial fitness and health centers in the U.S. For gyms that target markets with Chinese immigrant populations, or personal trainers who have Chinese clients, it might be advisable to emphasize a positive healt hy body image message into their marketing campaigns. For instance, marketers could use Chinese models with fit and toned bodies to appear on advertisement posters to convey the message of a positive body and lifestyle. When setting fitness goals with Chin ese clients, personal trainers could help clients to understand what a healthy body image entails and what the role of cultural background. However, successful marke ting strategies and customer Limitations There are several limi tations of this study. First of all, a sample bias might have occurred because it was impossible for t he small number of participants to perfectly represent the larger graduate student population. Since the recruitment of participants was mainly based on certain criteria, participants who engaged in moderat ely intense exercise at least three times a week, and thirty minutes each time, the diversity of the American participants sample was compromised. As a result, all American participants were Caucasians, which may limit the representativeness of the diversity among
94 vior. In addition, the snowball recruitment method might have resulted in a sample bias as participants might have shared similar exercise experiences and preferences with those they referred, which may limit the richness of the exercise experience data. Furthermore, since the selection of participants was based on screening criteria, the researcher found it difficult to find Chinese graduate students who meted the requirement. Thus, it was entirely possible the Chinese participants were faced with more co nstraining factors which might result in their nonparticipation. However, due to the original design of the study, this population was not covered and examined. Further study could focus on different physical activity levels of Chinese participants to obta in comprehensive data on their exercise behavior Another inherent limitation of the research design was the social context of where the research was conducted. The selection of graduate students at the University of amiliarity with campus recreation, and accessibility with research participants. However, the exercise motivation and constraints that emerged from Chinese graduate students in the United States might be different from that in Chinese social context. It wa s possible that Chinese and behaviors prominent in American cultural and social environment. Therefore, research results might not be representative of exercise particip ation in China. In addition to sample bias, linguistic limitations also appeared as Chinese participants were interviewed in English. It was believed that the benefits of conducting interviews in English outweighed the time and effort that would have been required to
95 translate the interview guide into Chinese and having to translate the Chinese selected were proficient in English, they may have been constrained in their capa city to describe all their experiences, thoughts, and ideas in accurate words, which might have resulted in data misinterpretation. For instance, when body image issues were vocabulary was misleading. Further probing questions revealed that in some cases perceptio n played a critical role in their linguistic choice, participants might actually have meant what they said. Even so, it was still possible that their language limitation hindered information and interpretation accuracy. To minimize this limitation, it is a proficiency and use probing questions to obtain accurate information.
96 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE Warm up Questions : Can you tell me something about yourself, such as your major and activities you enjoy in your spare time? D efinition of regular exercise: r egular exercise is defined as activities performed at a vigorous intensity three or more times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. A ttitude and Behavioral Beliefs: What else comes to your mind when you think about exercising three or more times for at least 30 minutes for the next three weeks? What do you see as the advantages of your exercising three or more times per week for at least 30 minutes for the next three weeks? What do you see as the disadvantages of your exercising three or more times for at least 30 minutes for the next three weeks? Subjective Norms and Normative Beliefs : Please list the individ uals or groups who would approve or think you should exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or more times per week for the next three weeks and explain how they show their approval or support with examples. Please list the individuals or groups who would disapprove or think you should not exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or more times per week for the next three weeks and explain how they show their disapproval with examples. Please list the individuals or groups who are least likely to exercise for at 30 minutes, three or more times per week for the next three weeks. Perceived Behav ior Control and Control Beliefs:
97 Please list any factors or circumstances that would make it easier or enable you to exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or more time s per week for the next three weeks and explain in detail with examples how they affect you. Please list any factors or circumstances that would make it more difficulty or prevent you from exercising at a vigorous intensity for at least 30 minutes, three o r more times per week for the next three weeks and explain in detail with examples how they affect you. Past Behavior: How often have you participated in vigorous regular exercise in your free time in the past six months? How long it took every time? What type of activities you were engaged in? Intrapersonal Constraints : What make you want to participate in leisure time regular physical exercise? To what degree do you think interest plays an important role in your activity preference and participation? Which do you prefer, activities that are more adventurous or safer? Is safety issue a concern when you chose activities to participate? Interpersonal Constraints : Which do you prefer, to workout by yourself or with friends, individual exercise like jogg ing or team activities like basketball game? Why do you prefer this type of method?
98 Do you have any preference about the gender of the people you workout with? Explain. If a good friend of yours joins your exercise, do you regard it as a source of motivati Structural Constraints : Are there any activity you want to participate, but the expenses of the equipment or facility discourages you? What activities are these and please exp lain the financial constraint. Are there times you compromise your exercise schedule due to lack of time? Provide an example. Does distance or inconvenience of the transportation ever become the reason why you fail to carry out an exercise schedule? Provid e an example. Negotiation Strategies : What time management strategies you have used to tackle the lack of time for certain exercise you want to participate? Have you ever planned and budgeted for a sport activity you find expensive but want to participate? What it is and how it works? If you prefer to workout with people you are familiar with, have you ever tried to make friends with people you meet during a team game or group activity? What difference it makes? What other ways you have come up with to remove the factors limiting your sport and exercise participation? What prevents you fro m overcoming these limitations?
99 A PPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT Protocol Title: A Qualitative Study on Physical Exercise Between Chinese and American Graduate Students Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to examine physical exercise behavior, motivation and constrain ts among Chinese graduate students through comparisons with their American counterparts. What you will be asked to do in the study: The interview will start with a warm up question to gain a better understanding of your education background, exercise hist ory, activities preference etc. The flowing questions are divided into two parts, exercise motivation and constraints. The interview is semi structured, which means follow up open ended question will be expected according to your answers. Potential benefits, risks and compensation: There are no direct benefits, risks or compensation to you for participating in this study. Time required: Around 1 hour Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your informa tion will be assigned a code number. Your name will not be used in any report.
100 Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the righ t to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Yawen Luan Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; phone 392 0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Participant: _________ ____________ ______________ __ D ate: _________________ Principal Inve stig ator: ________________ _____________ Date: _________________
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106 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Yawen Luan was born in 1988 in Beijing, China. At the age of twelve, she went Haidian Beijing and gradua ted in 2006. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Capital Normal University in 2010. In the same year, she came to U.S. and enrol led in sport m anagement graduate program at University of Florida (UF). Whi le pursuing Master of Science in Sport M anagement at UF, she started teaching group fitness classes, including Turbo Kick (Kickboxing) and ZUMBA in UF campus recreation faciliti es. She is also a certified AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, Hip Hop HUSTLE instructor and BOSU trainer. She was awarded Group Fitness Instructor of the Month for March 2012. In summer 2011, she was a volunteer coach for sport summer camp at Girls in the Game, a non profit organization promoting sport and fitness to teenager girls. From January to June 2012, she worked as Fitness Associate within Strength and Conditioning Program at UF Recreational Sports Department. Upon completion of her m degree program, she plans to pursue her career in international fitness program promotion and continues her passion for teaching group fitness classes.
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