Vigorous physical activity linked to anxiety and self-acceptance may suggest coping mechanisms across age groups: A preliminary finding

Tze San Goh and Po Ling Chen

Department of Psychology, School of MedicineInternational Medical University, Malaysia

Citation

San Goh, T., Ling Chen, P. (2021). Vigorous physical activity linked to anxiety and self-acceptance may suggest coping mechanisms across age groups: A preliminary finding. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 52(4), 355-369. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2021.52.355

Abstract

This preliminary study examined the relationships between physical activity (PA), psychological well-being (consists of six dimensions), depression, anxiety, and stress, and whether these relationships might vary across young and mid adults. One hundred and twenty respondents aged between 18 to 55 years old completed the study through online questionnaires. The results revealed that overall, PA did not significantly correlate with psychological well-being, depression, anxiety, and stress. However, the relationships between moderate PA and two well-being dimensions (personal growth and self-acceptance, respectively) approached significance. Vigorous PA was significantly correlated with anxiety. Separate analyses by age group showed that, in young adults, moderate PA was slightly linked to lower personal growth, whilst higher level of vigorous PA was significantly linked to higher anxiety. In mid adults, higher vigorous PA significantly correlated with lower self-acceptance. These relationships may suggest vigorous PA as coping mechanisms across age groups when dealing with anxiety and self-acceptance.

Keywords: Age, Anxiety, Depression, Exercise, Stress, Well-being


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