Social Support and Social Norms: Do Both Contribute to Predicting Leisure-time Exercise?

Morris A. Okun, Linda Ruehlman, Paul Karoly, Rafer Lutz, Chris Fairholme, Rachel Schaub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Objective: To clarify the contribution of social support and social norms to exercise behavior. Methods: A sample of 363 college students completed a questionnaire that assessed social support and social negativity from friends, descriptive and injunctive social norms related to friends, perceived behavioral control, attitude, intention, and leisure-time exercise. Results: Esteem social support was the strongest predictor of total and strenuous leisure-time exercise (P<.001), and descriptive norm was a significant (P<.01) predictor of strenuous leisure-time exercise. Conclusion: Social support and social norms contribute independently to our understanding of variation in the frequency of strenuous leisure-time exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-507
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of health behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • And social support
  • Exercise
  • Norms
  • Planned behavior
  • Social negativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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