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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between: a) the motivational climate developed by a national exercise franchise and b) members’ sense of ownership in and enjoyment of exercise. Members of a national exercise franchise (N=5,329) were surveyed to learn their views on the motivational climate (autonomy supportive, caring, task- and ego-involving), exercise class ownership, and class enjoyment. Mean scale scores revealed this national exercise franchise succeeded in developing a high caring (M = 4.60 ± .68), task-involving (M = 4.04 ± .62), and autonomy supportive (M = 5.98 ± 1.00) climate, and low ego-involving (M = 1.79 ± .69) climate. The members also reported high perceptions of ownership (M = 4.21 ± .78) within and enjoyment (M = 6.50 ± .91) of the exercise program. Structural equation modeling (SEM), theory-driven regression analyses supported the hypothesis that the psychosocial environment experienced by members predicted their reported ownership and enjoyment. Specifically, members’ ownership was significantly positively predicted by their perceptions of the environment as task-involving and autonomy supportive, and negatively predicted by their perceptions of the environment as ego-involving. Members’ enjoyment was significantly positively predicted by their perceptions of the environment as caring, task-involving, and autonomy supportive, while negatively predicted by their ego-involving climate perceptions. A large, national fitness organization is capable of promoting their franchisees’ consistent fostering of a highly caring, autonomy supportive, task-involving, and low ego-involving environment. Developing this climate was associated with members reporting a greater sense of ownership and enjoyment of their exercise experience.


Exercise Science | Kinesiology


©American Psychological Association, 2017. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: 10.1037/spy0000084