Within-person associations of daily self-efficacy with activity in middle-aged and older adults

Rachel G. Curtis, Timothy Windsor, Kaarin J. Anstey, Allison A. Bielak, Jill Mogle

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Activity participation is considered to be a hallmark of successful ageing, but tends to decline with age. Perceived control may influence older adults' activity, as individuals with higher perceived control have greater confidence in their ability to achieve outcomes, and are more likely to choose difficult activities, show persistence, and employ strategies to overcome challenges. Cross-sectional research shows that individuals with a greater sense of control tend to participate in more activity. Understanding the effects of within-person fluctuations in control beliefs is an important next step in developing interventions aimed at promoting activity. This study examined within-person coupling of daily self-efficacy and activity in 185 middle-aged and older adults, who participated in a daily diary study for up to 7 days. Daily self-efficacy was person-centered to separate daily fluctuations from between-person differences. Multilevel modelling examined associations of within-person self-efficacy with daily social, physical, and mental activity, controlling for between-person self-efficacy. Results showed that participants engaged in more social and physical activity on days when they reported greater self-efficacy. For physical activity, there was an interaction with age. Graphical examination indicated that on days of average self-efficacy, older adults reported lower physical activity than middle-aged adults, but on days of higher self-efficacy, older adults' physical activity was similar to middle-aged adults'. Self-efficacy did not predict mental activity. This study highlights the importance of self-efficacy as a protective psychological resource. Associations between within-person self-efficacy and activity may have implications for developing interventions aimed at maximizing activity in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348
Number of pages1
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue numberSuppl. 2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
EventGerontological Society of America 68th Annual Scientific Meeting - Orlando, United States
Duration: 18 Nov 201522 Nov 2015


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