Vicarious Experience to Affect Physical Activity in Women: A Randomized Control Trial

Sheri A. Rowland, Marlene Z. Cohen, Carol H. Pullen, Paula S. Schulz, Kris E. Berg, Kevin A. Kupzyk, Bunny J. Pozehl, Bernice C. Yates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


People compare themselves to others for self-evaluation, practical information, and motivation for healthy behaviors. The effect of active peer models on comparative thinking is unknown. The purpose of this 12-week, randomized, two-group pilot study was to evaluate the effect of a workplace peer modeling intervention on self-efficacy, motivation, and comparative thinking. The attention control group (ACG; n = 24) received general health information. The intervention group (n = 26) met with active peer models, received an exercise prescription and information. No significant group by time interaction effects were found. Comparisons on ability (how well am I doing), opinions (what should I think or believe), future self (think about my future), and modeling (be like someone else) all increased in the intervention group (n = 21) but decreased in the ACG (n = 22). Active peer models may support physical activity behavior change through specific lines of comparative thinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-292
Number of pages7
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • peer modeling
  • physical activity
  • social comparison
  • vicarious experience
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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