Defensive versus growth orientation : self-esteem and self-regulation effects on obtaining regular physical activity and subjective well-being
Herrmann, Alison Kay
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The differential implications of self-esteem contingency, self-esteem stability, regulatory style, and regulatory focus were considered in reference to a defensive versus a growth motivational orientation. These relationships were investigated in relation to individuals’ pursuit of the goal to obtain regular physical activity as well as their subjective well-being. Daily diary methods were used to track participants’ self-esteem, self-regulation, physical activity, and subjective well-being. Compared with growth-oriented individuals, defensively orientated individuals experienced lower levels of self-esteem and subjective well-being. Regardless of motivational orientation, individuals’ experienced lower subjective well-being on days when they were not physically active than on days when they were active. This discrepancy was larger for defensively oriented individuals than for those with a growth orientation. No differences were observed between defensive versus growth oriented individuals in frequency of physical activity or maintenance of regular physical activity over time.