Physical activity, motivation for physical activity and subjective well-being: The mediating roles of positive self-appraisal and distress

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Melissa Lucia Lopez Reyes

Defense Panel Chair

Ma. Angeles Guanzon Lapena

Defense Panel Member

Ron R. Resurreccion
Katrina C. Fernando
Julio C. Teehankee


The study tested four models that looked at how subjective well-being is influenced by physical activity and motivation for physical activity with self-appraisal and distress as the mediators. Survey data from self-reported measures answered by 599 Filipinos aged 18 to 40 coming from the general population were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Positive self-appraisal mediated the relationships between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and subjective well-being. Increasing competence and interest/enjoyment impacted self-esteem and self-efficacy positively, which in turn led to better satisfaction with life and positive and negative affect balance. Increasing social and appearance motivation for exercising led to lower positive self-appraisal, which in turn impacted subjective well-being. The mastery hypothesis which focused on mastering skills and Self-Determination Theory, which gave importance to the need of competence and differentiated between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, shed light on these findings. On the other hand, distress mediated the relationship between physical activity itself and subjective well-being. Increasing the frequency and intensity, duration of exercise session, and length of exercise involvement decreased depression and stress, which in turn impacted, subjective well-being. The distraction hypothesis, which focused on how exercise gives the exerciser a break from daily concerns and something else to focus on other than negative feelings, shed light on this finding. Both positive self-appraisal and distress mediated the relationship between the fitness motivation for physical activity and subjective well-being. Increasing fitness motivation, led to increased self-efficacy and self-esteem and decreased depression and stress, which in turn influenced subjective well-being.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 v. (various foliations) ; 4 3/4 in.

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