Organismic integration as a dynamic process: a systematic review of empirical studies on change in behavioral regulations in exercise in adults

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftÜbersichtsarbeitenForschung


In facilitating the adoption of exercise behavior, attention should be directed towards the dynamic nature of behavioral regulations. Organismic integration theory presents a suitable framework for investigating fluctuations in behavioral regulations. However, current results pertaining to this issue revealed mixed findings. The aim of this review is to examine the empirical literature on the dynamic nature of organismic integration theory in exercise settings over time in adults. A systematic review of English articles using PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, ScienceDirect, and SPORTDiscus was conducted including keywords of organismic integration theory, longitudinal designs, change in behavioral regulations, and exercise. Findings are summarized through quantitative analysis of the evidence. Regarding autonomous regulations, steady increases in regulations are observable that originate within the first weeks and persist for up to one year. Most studies reported no changes in controlled regulations, although in a few cases changes were observed six weeks after baseline or later. The review adds to the theoretical understanding of how behavioral regulations are internalized. However, whether changes in regulation occur depends on both the type of regulation and on contextual characteristics. Future research of longitudinal design is warranted to identify optimal periods in which individuals seek for increased support during exercise adoption.
ZeitschriftInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Seiten (von - bis)65-95
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 27.12.2015