Effects of message framing on self-report and accelerometer-assessed physical activity across age and gender groups

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-51
Journal / PublicationJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


This study compared message-framing effects on physical activity (PA) across age and gender groups. Participants included 111 younger and 100 older adults (68% were women), randomly assigned to read gain-framed or loss-framed PA messages in promotion pamphlets, and who wore accelerometers for the following 14 days. Using regression analyses controlling for demographic and health factors, we found significant age-by-genderby-framing interactions predicting self-report (B = -4.39, p = .01) and accelerometer-assessed PA (B = -2.44, p =.02) during the follow-up period. Gain-framed messages were more effective than loss-framed messages in promoting PA behaviors only among older men. We speculated that the age-related positivity effect, as well as the age and gender differences in issue involvement, explained the group differences in framing. In addition, more time availability and higher self-efficacy among older men might have contributed to the results.

Research Area(s)

  • Decision making, Health communication, Information processing, Message framing, Persuasion, Prospect theory