Executive function, intent to exercise, and consideration of future consequences: A mediation model

Date

2019-05

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

There are various environmental barriers limiting exercise in adolescents (Kim, 2013). However, the potential contribution of cognitive barriers are not as well characterized. Previous research suggests consideration of future consequences may predict exercise intent. However, these models may be incomplete as they do not systematically incorporate other potential cognitive contributions (e.g., executive function). This study investigated the possible mediating relationships between executive functioning, specifically cognitive regulation, consideration of future consequences, and exercise intent. While we were interested in examining relations between cognitive regulation, consideration of future consequences, and EI, there has been scant research suggesting how they may interact, therefore, we examined two mediation models each with self-and parent reported cognitive regulation. Data was collected from 72 parents and 101 adolescents ages 11 to 17 (M=13.09) in a summer enrichment program. Adolescent participants completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-Second Edition (BRIEF-2) Self-Report, Consideration of Future Consequences Scale, and Intent to Exercise Scale. Parents completed the BRIEF-2 Parent-Report. Based on previous literature and the specific patterns of correlation, we investigated the relationships between self and parent-reported cognitive regulation and exercise intent mediated by consideration of future consequences as well as an additional model with the relationship between consideration of future consequences and exercise intent mediated by self and parent-reported cognitive regulation. To test the relationship between consideration of future consequences and exercise intent mediated by self and parent-reported cognitive regulation, two mediation analyses were conducted. Results indicated the indirect effect was not significant for self (-0.04, p=0.27) or parent-reported (-0.02, p=0.50) models. We also analyzed parent-reported cognitive regulation as a mediator between consideration of future consequences and exercise intent indicating the indirect effect was not significant (0.03, p=0.41). However, when examining self-reported cognitive regulation as the mediator between consideration of future consequences and exercise intent, we found a significant indirect effect (0.19, p< 0.01, CI: 0.07 to 0.30, PM effect size=0.61). The indirect effect maintained significance when controlling for gender, subjective socioeconomic status, and age and was adequately powered. Based on our sample, only self-reported cognitive regulation significantly partially mediated the relationship between consideration of future consequences and exercise intent. This is the first study to suggest self-reported cognitive regulation is the mechanism of action that may lead to increases in exercise intent and should be examined as a possible target of exercise interventions.

Description

Keywords

Cognitive regulation, Consideration of future consequences, Exercise intent, Adolescence, Executive function, BRIEF-2

Citation