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HSR&D Citation Abstract

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Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Daily Control Beliefs and Cognition: The Mediating Role of Physical Activity. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences. 2020 Mar 9; 75(4):772-782.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Recent work suggests that physical activity may underlie the positive relationship between control beliefs and cognition. Despite the well-known cognitive benefits, most adults do not engage in enough physical activity, perhaps due to low perceived control. The current study aimed to expand upon past work by investigating these constructs over the short-term by studying the intraindividual variability in daily control beliefs, physical activity, and cognition. We examined whether these constructs were related on a day-to-day basis and if daily physical activity mediated the relationship between control beliefs and cognition. METHOD: Over 7 consecutive days, 145 participants (M = 50.54 years) completed daily diaries to measure domain-specific control beliefs, wore an ActiGraph to capture objective physical activity, and were administered 2 tasks each day via phone to measure cognition. RESULTS: Using multilevel structural equation modeling, our results indicated that on days with higher control beliefs cognition was also higher and this relationship was mediated by one's level of physical activity. DISCUSSION: These findings demonstrate the role of physical activity in linking control beliefs and cognition on a daily level using a within-person approach to investigate the dynamic processes in beliefs and cognition.

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