Geralyn Ruissen’s PhD Thesis Proposal

Title:Affective Dynamics for Understanding Physical Activity Behaviour Change”

Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Mark R. Beauchamp (Kinesiology)
Committee Members: Dr. Eli Puterman (Kinesiology), Dr Bruno D. Zumbo (ECPS), Dr Ryan E. Rhodes (UVIC)

Abstract: It is now well established that affect and affect-related constructs are critical determinants in understanding the adoption and maintenance of physical activity. However, to date, our understanding of the influence of affect-related constructs on physical activity behaviour is largely based on static “snapshots”, rather than ongoing, dynamic feedback loops. The use of ecological momentary assessment and continuous-time modelling are particularly well suited for facilitating finer-grain insights into the role that affect-related constructs play as temporally dependent and continuous processes in physical activity behaviour change. The overall purpose of my proposed doctoral research is to use ecological momentary assessment to examine how various types of affect (i.e., affective response, incidental affect, affective processing) are dynamically related to physical activity behaviour, as well as with each other in a continuous time framework. The primary purpose of Study 1 is to test the continuous-time bidirectional relationships between objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and incidental affect and to explore the temporal specificity underlying the bidirectional relationship between incidental affect and physical activity behaviour using data derived from the Ambulatory Assessment of Personality, Ecological Context, and Stress Study. Following this, in Study 2 I propose to conduct an ecological momentary assessment study to examine a triadic continuous-time dynamic system with reciprocal effects among incidental affect, integral affect, and physical activity behaviour.  In the final study for my dissertation, I propose to investigate a triadic dynamic system with reciprocal effects among affective response, affective processing, and physical activity behaviour.