College students' motivation to achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Andrea C. Furia, Rebecca E. Lee, Myra L. Strother, Terry T.K. Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives: To develop and refine a scale of motivational factors related to healthy weight achievement and maintenance and to examine differences by gender and weight status. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 300 university students aged 18-24 years. Results: Factor analysis yielded 6 factors - Intrinsic (Cronbach's α=0.73): affective motivation, self-efficacy/ interest; Extrinsic (Cronbach's α=0.68): social reward, peer pressure, lack of choice, and authority influence. Males and normal-weight students showed higher affective motivation and overall intrinsic motivation compared to females and overweight students, (P<.001). Conclusion: Intrinsic motivational factors and gender differences should be considered in developing obesity prevention interventions in this age-group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-263
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • College students
  • Motivation
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Weight maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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