Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1997) asserts that people will be more likely to engage in behaviors that they believe they can successfully perform and avoid behaviors in which they feel that they will be unsuccessful. Researchers have concluded that individuals with high levels of self-efficacy are more likely to pursue challenging goals, cope with pain, and persevere through setbacks, while those with low self-efficacy avoid challenges and tend to give up when confronted with obstacles (Llewellyn, Sanchez, Asghar, & Jones, 2008). Endurance sport, particularly distance running, is a domain in which being able to cope with pain and persevere through setbacks is especially important; therefore the purpose of this dissertation was to increase our understanding of self-efficacy in the physical activity domain by exploring the sources of self-efficacy for distance runners. The first study utilized a quantitative approach to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy, affect and training volume during marathon training. The results revealed that self-efficacy fluctuated over the training period and was only minmally related to affect. Study two was an extension of the first and utilized a qualitative approach to investigate the sources of self-efficacy information used by runners. Physiological states emerged as the most influential source of efficacy information throughout the program and past performance experiences increased in their influence as participants gained more running experience. The third study was a qualitative investigation of the sources of self-efficacy for running using a sample of African American distance runners. Past performance was cited as the most salient source of efficacy information for these runners and, for the majority of participants, race/ethnicity did not emerge as a significant factor in their efficacy for running.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Solmon, Melinda



Included in

Kinesiology Commons