Front Psychol. 2016;7:1546
Motivation toward physical exercise (MPE) and trait self-control (TSC) were identified as key predictors of subjective wellbeing (SWB). However, there has not been any research designed to examine the mediating role of TSC in the relationship between MPE and SWB. The present study utilizes self-determination theory, control-process theory of self-regulation, and theory of multiple pathways of TSC in order to examine whether TSC mediates the relationships of autonomous MPE (A-MPE), controlled MPE (C-MPE), and impersonal MPE (NO-MPE) with SWB using structural equation modeling (XLSTAT PLS). Three hundred seventeen adult American individuals (Mage = 32.97, SDage = 11.30), who reported to be regular exercisers, voluntarily answered questionnaires assessing MPE, TSC, and SWB. Correlational analyses revealed positive relationships between A-MPE, TSC, and SWB, and negative relationships of C-MPE and NO-MPE with TSC and SWB. Mediation analyses revealed that TSC mediated the relationships of A-MPE (partial mediation) and C-MPE (full mediation) with SWB, but did not mediate the relationship between NO-MPE and SWB. The estimates of the quality of the hypothesized model were acceptable (outer model GoF = 0.935; absolute GoF = 0.330; relative GoF = 0.942; inner model GoF = 1.008; R(2) = 36.947%). Finally, this study supports the view that MPE can influence SWB through TSC, and incites to pursue the examination of the relationships between self-determined motivation, self-regulation mechanisms, and health-related outcomes.