Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Elithabeth Rose


The movement confidence model proposed by Griffin and Keogh (1982) determined level of movement confidence by including sensations of enjoyment and fear of harm as well as perceived competence. Whilst this has been studied in children there is a paucity of research into older Australian adults. For the purposes of this study Australian older adults were defined as people over 50 years of age, permanently residing in Australia. Therefore, this study had four major purposes. The first purpose was to identify the relative contributions of (a) perceived competence (PC), (b) enjoyment (EN), and (c) fear of harm (FH) to movement confidence (MC) measured on the Movement Confidence Now (MCN) scale (O'Brien Cousins, 1997) in male and female older adults. The second purpose was to identify the relationship between level of movement confidence and level of physical activity (LPA) measured on the Older Adults Exercise Status Inventory (OA-ESI) (O'Brien Cousins, 1997). The third purpose was to identify the relationship between MC and past experience (PE). Lastly, to investigate the participant's perceptions of MC, PC, EN, FH and PE across the 8 physical activities of curl ups (CU), push ups (PU), aquafit (AF), power walking (PW), slow stretch (SS), bike ride (BR), moderate paced swimming (MPS) and jogging (JG) measured in the MCN. The participants in this study were N =56 (n males= 26, n females= 28) university employees, aged between 50 and 65 years. The researcher administered the questionnaire individually to all participants. To answer the first research question the data was entered into a Pearson's correlation, followed by hierarchical multiple regression with MC as the predictor dependent variable and PC, EN, and FH as the independent variables. Results indicated that for the overall population PC (R2Δ = 0.602, p<0.05), EN (R2Δ = 0.037, p <0.05) and FH (R2Δ = 0.028, p < 0.05) were all significant contributors to variance in the MC scores. To answer the second research question the level of MC and LPA were entered into a Pearson's correlation. The results indicated that for the overall population MC and LPA were significantly correlated(r = 0.302, p < 0.05). This correlation dissipated when analysed separately for gender. To answer the third research question MC and PE were entered into a Pearson's correlation. The results indicated that for the overall population MC and LPA were significantly correlated (r = 0. 705, p < 0.05). This relationship was also present in males (r = 0.695, p < 0.05) and females ( r = 0.730, p < 0.05). To answer the final research question CU, PU, AF, PW, SS, BR, MPS and JG were entered .into a one way ANOV A with Tukey's HSD post hoc multiple comparisons. For the overall population results indicated that there was a significant difference in MCN scores between the eight physical activities (F = 16.762, p < 0.05). Also PW and JG stood out as being significantly different to all the other activities (p < 0.05). Similar results were obtained from the male and female populations when analysed separately. The findings of this study indicated that in an older population enjoyment and fear of harm play a significant role in determining their movement confidence. However, gender differences may occur in how these sensations correlate and contribute to movement confidence. Additional findings indicate that previous experience is closely related to movement confidence. Therefore the role of experience in developing confidence in older adults cannot be disregarded. Furthermore this study has determined that older adults are far more likely to power walk, and less likely to jog, than engage other activities. This study has implications for the exercise and health industry when planning regular physical activity for an aging population.