Affective determinants of physical activity in cancer survivors

Ashley B. Murray, Debra Boardley, Emily Van Wasshenova, Rachel Mahas, Marc T. Kiviniemi, Janelle Tipton, Andrew L. Geers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Research with non-cancer survivor populations finds affective variables to be important determinants of physical activity. This study assessed the ability of explicit and implicit affective variables to predict the physical activity of cancer survivors, above that accounted for by cognitive variables. The study also tested whether the affective variables were connected to physical activity directly or indirectly through their association with behavioural intentions. Design: In a cross-sectional design, cancer survivors (n = 122) completed questionnaires and an implicit affect task. Main outcome measures: Self-report measures assessed three affective variables (e.g. positive affective associations), five cognitive variables (e.g. cognitive beliefs), physical activity estimates, behavioural intentions and participants also completed an implicit affect task regarding physical activity. Results: Two of the three explicit affect variables and the implicit affect variable accounted for significant variability in physical activity estimates beyond that accounted for by the cognitive variables. Positive affective associations were the strongest predictor in multivariate analyses. Behavioural intentions did not mediate the link between the affect variables and physical activity estimates. Conclusions: Explicit and implicit affective variables are direct and unique predictors of physical activity in cancer survivors. Physical activity interventions for cancer survivors should target both explicit affect and implicit affect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-612
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Physical activity
  • affect
  • cancer survivor
  • emotion
  • implicit affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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