The Physical Activity Maintenance (PAM) Theory was developed based on past literature and is the only theory known to date that solely addresses maintenance of PA (Nigg, Borrelli, Maddock, & Dishman, 2008). Briefly, this theory describes PAM as being determined from both individual psychosocial variables and contextual constructs. Individual psychosocial constructs include (1) satisfaction, attainment and commitment of goal-setting; (2) motivation which is conceptualized as self-motivation and expectations; and (3) barrier and relapse self-efficacy which addresses ones confidence in maintaining long term PA despite barriers and the temptation to stop doing regular PA when situations arise. The contextual constructs include the PA environment and life stresses, which can be triggers of relapse. The contextual variables may facilitate or impede PAM directly or indirectly via the individual psychosocial variables. One of the major differentiating factors from existing theories of behavior/behavior change is that the PAM study variables are framed in terms of maintenance of PA, not the behavior or adoption of the behavior. The PAM Theory is presented in Figure 1.


Nigg, C. R., Borrelli, B., Maddock, J., & Dishman, R. K. (2008). A theory of physical activity maintenance. International Journal of Applied Psychology, 57(4), 544-560.