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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Efficacy-mediated effects of spirituality and physical activity on quality of life: A path analysis

James F Konopack12* and Edward McAuley1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA

2 Department of Nursing and Health Studies, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, USA

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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2012, 10:57  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-57

Published: 29 May 2012



Physical activity has been established as an important determinant of quality of life, particularly among older adults. Previous research has suggested that physical activity’s influence on quality of life perceptions is mediated by changes in self-efficacy and health status. In the same vein, spirituality may be a salient quality of life determinant for many individuals.


In the current study, we used path analysis to test a model in which physical activity, spirituality, and social support were hypothesized to influence global quality of life in paths mediated by self-efficacy and health status. Cross-sectional data were collected from a sample of 215 adults (male, n = 51; female, n = 164) over the age of 50 (M age = 66.55 years).


The analysis resulted in a model that provided acceptable fit to the data (χ2 = 33.10, df = 16, p < .01; RMSEA = .07; SRMR = .05; CFI = .94).


These results support previous findings of an efficacy-mediated relationship between physical activity and quality of life, with the exception that self-efficacy in the current study was moderately associated with physical health status (.38) but not mental health status. Our results further suggest that spirituality may influence health and well-being via a similar, efficacy-mediated path, with strongest effects on mental health status. These results suggest that those who are more spiritual and physically active report greater quality of life, and the effects of these factors on quality of life may be partially mediated by perceptions of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy; Quality of life; Physical activity; Spirituality