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postgraduate thesis: Motivation and psychological benefits of marathon training: a longitudinal study

TitleMotivation and psychological benefits of marathon training: a longitudinal study
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ng, S. [吳崇欣]. (2012). Motivation and psychological benefits of marathon training : a longitudinal study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5070069
AbstractMuch research has looked into how aerobic exericse is important to physical and psychological well-being. However, research is less sure of the how exercise produces psychological benefits. To explore this, running is a form of exercise that deserves particular attention given its possible usefulness to public policy discussions. Running is one of the most accessible and inexpensive forms of exercise, and its popularity is demonstrated by the trend of more and more people participating in local annual marathons. This study performed a longitudinal test to better define the conditions under which average people might enjoy psychological benefits from exercise like running. From self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), motivation is fueled by three basic psychological needs: perceived competence, perceived relatedness and perceived autonomy. In this study, key factors influencing psychological outcomes included runners’ degree of motivation, perceived relatedness and the intensity of their training program. The present study had 59 average runners fill in questionnaires before and after a 12 week marathon training program. The results showed that stress and depression levels were significantly reduced, and perceived relatedness among runners increased. Runners’ degree of motivation, which refers to the degree to which runners felt intrinsically motivated, predicts depression and stress levels after training. It suggested that a higher degree of motivation maximizing stress and depression reduction. In addition, higher levels of perceived relatedness among runners also positively predicts stress reduction. The depression reduction of runners who joined only training was significantly higher than those who joined marathon competition after finishing training. The present study found that this competition effect was fully mediated by the number of long runs runners attended during their training. This finding is tied to the question of how much exercise people need in order to optimally reduce depression. Overall, the present study highlights that a threshold of exercise intensity exists beyond which depression reduction becomes insignificant. In the context of the marathon training under study, four or fewer long runs were the recommended threshold. The present study provided a good overview of the psychological benefits of running for a non-clinical population, and also identified how people might maximize such gains. Application of the findings to the promotion of marathon culture for the betterment of public mental health is discussed.
DegreeMaster of Social Sciences
SubjectMarathon running - Training - Psychological aspects.
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192403

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorNg, Shung-yan.-
dc.contributor.author吳崇欣.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-03T04:23:55Z-
dc.date.available2013-11-03T04:23:55Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationNg, S. [吳崇欣]. (2012). Motivation and psychological benefits of marathon training : a longitudinal study. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5070069-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192403-
dc.description.abstractMuch research has looked into how aerobic exericse is important to physical and psychological well-being. However, research is less sure of the how exercise produces psychological benefits. To explore this, running is a form of exercise that deserves particular attention given its possible usefulness to public policy discussions. Running is one of the most accessible and inexpensive forms of exercise, and its popularity is demonstrated by the trend of more and more people participating in local annual marathons. This study performed a longitudinal test to better define the conditions under which average people might enjoy psychological benefits from exercise like running. From self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), motivation is fueled by three basic psychological needs: perceived competence, perceived relatedness and perceived autonomy. In this study, key factors influencing psychological outcomes included runners’ degree of motivation, perceived relatedness and the intensity of their training program. The present study had 59 average runners fill in questionnaires before and after a 12 week marathon training program. The results showed that stress and depression levels were significantly reduced, and perceived relatedness among runners increased. Runners’ degree of motivation, which refers to the degree to which runners felt intrinsically motivated, predicts depression and stress levels after training. It suggested that a higher degree of motivation maximizing stress and depression reduction. In addition, higher levels of perceived relatedness among runners also positively predicts stress reduction. The depression reduction of runners who joined only training was significantly higher than those who joined marathon competition after finishing training. The present study found that this competition effect was fully mediated by the number of long runs runners attended during their training. This finding is tied to the question of how much exercise people need in order to optimally reduce depression. Overall, the present study highlights that a threshold of exercise intensity exists beyond which depression reduction becomes insignificant. In the context of the marathon training under study, four or fewer long runs were the recommended threshold. The present study provided a good overview of the psychological benefits of running for a non-clinical population, and also identified how people might maximize such gains. Application of the findings to the promotion of marathon culture for the betterment of public mental health is discussed.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50700698-
dc.subject.lcshMarathon running - Training - Psychological aspects.-
dc.titleMotivation and psychological benefits of marathon training: a longitudinal study-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5070069-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Social Sciences-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5070069-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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