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1.  Protection Motivation Theory in Predicting Intention to Engage in Protective Behaviors against Schistosomiasis among Middle School Students in Rural China 
Background
Among millions of people who suffer from schistosomiasis in China, adolescents are at increased risk to be infected. However, there is a lack of theory-guided behavioral prevention intervention programs to protect these adolescents. This study attempted to apply the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) in predicting intentions to engage in protective behaviors against schistosomiasis infection.
Methods
The participants were selected using the stratified cluster sampling method. Survey data were collected using anonymous self-reported questionnaire. The advanced structural equation modeling (SEM) method was utilized to assess the complex relationship among schistosomiasis knowledge, previous risk exposure and protective measures in predicting intentions to engage in protective behavior through the PMT constructs.
Principal Findings
Approximately 70% of participants reported they were always aware of schistosomiasis before exposure to water with endemic schistosomiasis, 6% of the participants reported frequency of weekly or monthly prior exposure to snail-conditioned water. 74% of participants reported having always engaged in protective behaviors in the past three months. Approximately 7% were unlikely or very unlikely to avoid contact with snail-conditioned water, and to use protective behaviors before exposure. Results from SEM analysis indicated that both schistosomiasis knowledge and prior exposure to schistosomiasis were indirectly related to behavior intentions through intrinsic rewards and self-efficacy; prior protective behaviors were indirectly related to behavior intentions through severity, intrinsic rewards and self-efficacy, while awareness had an indirect relationship with behavior intentions through self-efficacy. Among the seven PMT constructs, severity, intrinsic rewards and self-efficacy were significantly associated with behavior intentions.
Conclusions
The PMT can be used to predict the intention to engage in protective behaviors against schistosomiasis. Schistosomiasis intervention programs should focus on the severity, intrinsic rewards and self-efficacy of protection motivation, and also increase the awareness of infection, and enrich the contents of schistosomiasis education.
Author Summary
In China, millions of population suffer from schistosomiasis infection and adolescents tend to have higher infection rates than adults. The Knowledge-Attitude-Practice (KAP) Theory has traditionally been used as guidance to schistosomiasis prevention in China. However, despite increases in knowledge among residents in the epidemic areas due to KAP theory-based schistosomiasis health education, no significant reduction in water-contact behavior was evident. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to seek alternative health behavior change theories/models that are more effective than the KAP theory to promote purposeful behavioral change. The Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) as a social cognitive model may be an alternative to the KAP theory. In this study, we found that the PMT can be used to predict intention to engage in protective behaviors against schistosomiasis infection among middle school students in rural China. Based on the PMT, in addition to enhancing awareness of schistosomiasis infection, intervention programs should focus on the severity, intrinsic rewards and self-efficacy of protection motivation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003246
PMCID: PMC4199519  PMID: 25329829
2.  Cardiovascular risk profile: Cross-sectional analysis of motivational determinants, physical fitness and physical activity 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:592.
Background
Cardiovascular risk factors are associated with physical fitness and, to a lesser extent, physical activity. Lifestyle interventions directed at enhancing physical fitness in order to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases should be extended. To enable the development of effective lifestyle interventions for people with cardiovascular risk factors, we investigated motivational, social-cognitive determinants derived from the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and other relevant social psychological theories, next to physical activity and physical fitness.
Methods
In the cross-sectional Utrecht Police Lifestyle Intervention Fitness and Training (UP-LIFT) study, 1298 employees (aged 18 to 62) were asked to complete online questionnaires regarding social-cognitive variables and physical activity. Cardiovascular risk factors and physical fitness (peak VO2) were measured.
Results
For people with one or more cardiovascular risk factors (78.7% of the total population), social-cognitive variables accounted for 39% (p < .001) of the variance in the intention to engage in physical activity for 60 minutes every day. Important correlates of intention to engage in physical activity were attitude (beta = .225, p < .001), self-efficacy (beta = .271, p < .001), descriptive norm (beta = .172, p < .001) and barriers (beta = -.169, p < .01). Social-cognitive variables accounted for 52% (p < .001) of the variance in physical active behaviour (being physical active for 60 minutes every day). The intention to engage in physical activity (beta = .469, p < .001) and self-efficacy (beta = .243, p < .001) were, in turn, important correlates of physical active behavior.
In addition to the prediction of intention to engage in physical activity and physical active behavior, we explored the impact of the intensity of physical activity. The intentsity of physical activity was only significantly related to physical active behavior (beta = .253, p < .01, R2 = .06, p < .001). An important goal of our study was to investigate the relationship between physical fitness, the intensity of physical activity and social-cognitive variables. Physical fitness (R2 = .23, p < .001) was positively associated with physical active behavior (beta = .180, p < .01), self-efficacy (beta = .180, p < .01) and the intensity of physical activity (beta = .238, p < .01).
For people with one or more cardiovascular risk factors, 39.9% had positive intentions to engage in physical activity and were also physically active, and 10.5% had a low intentions but were physically active. 37.7% had low intentions and were physically inactive, and about 11.9% had high intentions but were physically inactive.
Conclusions
This study contributes to our ability to optimize cardiovascular risk profiles by demonstrating an important association between physical fitness and social-cognitive variables. Physical fitness can be predicted by physical active behavior as well as by self-efficacy and the intensity of physical activity, and the latter by physical active behavior.
Physical active behavior can be predicted by intention, self-efficacy, descriptive norms and barriers. Intention to engage in physical activity by attitude, self-efficacy, descriptive norms and barriers. An important input for lifestyle changes for people with one or more cardiovascular risk factors was that for ca. 40% of the population the intention to engage in physical activity was in line with their actual physical active behavior.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-592
PMCID: PMC3091554  PMID: 20929529
3.  Prediction of Sport Adherence Through the Influence of Autonomy-Supportive Coaching Among Spanish Adolescent Athletes 
The purpose of this study was to test a motivational model of the coach-athlete relationship, based on self-determination theory and on the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The sample comprised of 608 athletes (ages of 12-17 years) completed the following measures: interest in athlete's input, praise for autonomous behavior, perceived autonomy, intrinsic motivation, and the intention to be physically active. Structural equation modeling results demonstrated that interest in athletes' input and praise for autonomous behavior predicted perceived autonomy, and perceived autonomy positively predicted intrinsic motivation. Finally, intrinsic motivation predicted the intention to be physically active in the future. The results are discussed in relation to the importance of the climate of autonomy support created by the coach on intrinsic motivation and adherence to sport by adolescent athletes. Further, the results provide information related to the possible objectives of future interventions for the education of coaches, with the goal of providing them with tools and strategies to favor the development of intrinsic motivation among their athletes. In conclusion, the climate of autonomy support created by the coach can predict the autonomy perceived by the athletes which predicts the intrinsic motivation experienced by the athletes, and therefore, their adherence to athletic practice.
Key pointsImportance of the climate of autonomy support created by the coach on intrinsic motivation and adherence to sport by adolescent athletes.Interest in athletes' input and praise for autonomous behavior predicted perceived autonomy, and perceived autonomy positively predicted intrinsic motivation.Intrinsic motivation predicted the intention to be physically active in the future.
PMCID: PMC3737975  PMID: 24149380
Autonomy support; perceived autonomy; intrinsic motivation; sport adherence.
4.  Action planning as predictor of health protective and health risk behavior: an investigation of fruit and snack consumption 
Background
Large discrepancies between people's intention to eat a healthy diet and actual dietary behavior indicate that motivation is not a sufficient instigator for healthy behavior. Research efforts to decrease this 'intention - behavior gap' have centered on aspects of self-regulation, most importantly self-regulatory planning. Most studies on the impact of self-regulatory planning in health and dietary behavior focus on the promotion of health protective behaviors. This study investigates and compares the predictive value of action planning in health protective behavior and the restriction of health risk behavior.
Methods
Two longitudinal observational studies were performed simultaneously, one focusing on fruit consumption (N = 572) and one on high-caloric snack consumption (N = 585) in Dutch adults. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate and compare the predictive value of action planning in both behaviors, correcting for demographics and the influence of motivational factors and past behavior. The nature of the influence of action planning was investigated by testing mediating and moderating effects.
Results
Action planning was a significant predictor of fruit consumption and restricted snack consumption beyond the influence of motivational factors and past behavior. The strength of the predictive value of action planning did not differ between the two behaviors. Evidence for mediation of the intention - behavior relationship was found for both behaviors. Positive moderating effects of action planning were demonstrated for fruit consumption, indicating that individuals who report high levels of action planning are significantly more likely to translate their intentions into actual behavior.
Conclusion
The results indicate that the planning of specific preparatory actions predicts the performance of healthy dietary behavior and support the application of self-regulatory planning in both health protective and health risk behaviors. Future interventions in dietary modification may turn these findings to advantage by incorporating one common planning protocol to increase the likelihood that good intentions are translated into healthy dietary behavior.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-6-69
PMCID: PMC2770554  PMID: 19825172
5.  Predicting active school travel: The role of planned behavior and habit strength 
Background
Despite strong support for predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) substantial variance in both intention and behavior is unaccounted for by the model’s predictors. The present study tested the extent to which habit strength augments the predictive validity of the TPB in relation to a currently under-researched behavior that has important health implications, namely children’s active school travel.
Method
Participants (N = 126 children aged 8–9 years; 59 % males) were sampled from five elementary schools in the west of Scotland and completed questionnaire measures of all TPB constructs in relation to walking to school and both walking and car/bus use habit. Over the subsequent week, commuting steps on school journeys were measured objectively using an accelerometer. Hierarchical multiple regressions were used to test the predictive utility of the TPB and habit strength in relation to both intention and subsequent behavior.
Results
The TPB accounted for 41 % and 10 % of the variance in intention and objectively measured behavior, respectively. Together, walking habit and car/bus habit significantly increased the proportion of explained variance in both intention and behavior by 6 %. Perceived behavioral control and both walking and car/bus habit independently predicted intention. Intention and car/bus habit independently predicted behavior.
Conclusions
The TPB significantly predicts children’s active school travel. However, habit strength augments the predictive validity of the model. The results indicate that school travel is controlled by both intentional and habitual processes. In practice, interventions could usefully decrease the habitual use of motorized transport for travel to school and increase children’s intention to walk (via increases in perceived behavioral control and walking habit, and decreases in car/bus habit). Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for changing these antecedents of children’s active school travel.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-65
PMCID: PMC3419676  PMID: 22647194
Theory of planned behavior; Habit; Active school travel; Walking; Children
6.  Tablet-Based Strength-Balance Training to Motivate and Improve Adherence to Exercise in Independently Living Older People: A Phase II Preclinical Exploratory Trial 
Background
Reaction time, coordination, and cognition performance typically diminish in older adults, which may lead to gait impairments, falls, and injuries. Regular strength–balance exercises are highly recommended to reduce this problem and to improve health, well-being, and independence in old age. However, many older people face a lack of motivation in addition to other strong barriers to exercise. We developed ActiveLifestyle, an information technology (IT)-based system for active and healthy aging aiming at improving balance and strength. ActiveLifestyle is a training app that runs on a tablet and assists, monitors, and motivates older people to follow personalized training plans autonomously at home.
Objective
The objectives were to (1) investigate which IT-mediated motivation strategies increase adherence to physical exercise training plans in older people, (2) assess the impact of ActiveLifestyle on physical activity behavior change, and (3) demonstrate the effectiveness of the ActiveLifestyle training to improve gait speed.
Methods
A total of 44 older adults followed personalized, 12-week strength and balance training plans. All participants performed the exercises autonomously at home. Questionnaires were used to assess the technological familiarity and stage of behavior change, as well as the effectiveness of the motivation instruments adopted by ActiveLifestyle. Adherence to the exercise plan was evaluated using performance data collected by the app and through information given by the participants during the study. Pretests and posttests were performed to evaluate gait speed of the participants before and after the study.
Results
Participants were 75 years (SD 6), predominantly female (64%), held a trade or professional diploma (54%), and their past profession was in a sitting position (43%). Of the 44 participants who enrolled, 33 (75%) completed the study. The app proved to assist and motivate independently living and healthy older adults to autonomously perform strength–balance exercises (median 6 on a 7-point Likert scale). Social motivation strategies proved more effective than individual strategies to stimulate the participants to comply with the training plan, as well as to change their behavior permanently toward a more physically active lifestyle. The exercises were effective to improve preferred and fast gait speed.
Conclusions
ActiveLifestyle assisted and motivated independently living and healthy older people to autonomously perform strength–balance exercises over 12 weeks and had low dropout rates. The social motivation strategies were more effective to stimulate the participants to comply with the training plan and remain on the intervention. The adoption of assistive technology devices for physical intervention tends to motivate and retain older people exercising for longer periods of time.
doi:10.2196/jmir.2579
PMCID: PMC3742406  PMID: 23939401
motivation; exercises; aged; tablet; mobility; delivery of health care
7.  Adolescents demonstrate improvement in obesity risk behaviors following completion of Choice, Control, and Change, a curriculum addressing personal agency and autonomous motivation 
Background
The rapid increase of obesity and diabetes risk beginning in youth, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, calls for prevention efforts.
Objective
To examine the impact of a curriculum intervention, Choice, Control, and Change (C3), on the adoption of the energy balance related behaviors of decreasing sweetened drinks, packaged snacks, fast food, and leisure screen time, and increasing water, fruits and vegetables, and physical activity, and on potential psychosocial mediators of the behaviors.
Design
Ten middle schools in low-income New York City neighborhoods were randomly assigned within matched pairs to either intervention or comparison/ delayed control conditions during the 2007–2008 school year.
Participants
562 inner city seventh grade students in the intervention condition, and 574 in the comparison condition.
Intervention
Students received the 24 C3 lessons that used science inquiry-based investigations to enhance motivation for action, and social cognitive and self-determination theories to increase personal agency and autonomous motivation to take action.
Main outcome measures
Self-report instruments to measure energy balance related behaviors targeted by the curriculum, and potential psychosocial mediators of the behaviors.
Analyses
ANCOVA with group (intervention/control) as a fixed factor and pre-test as covariate.
Results
Students in intervention schools compared to the delayed intervention controls reported consumption of significantly fewer sweetened drinks and packaged snacks, smaller sizes of fast food, increased intentional walking for exercise, and decreased leisure screen-time, but showed no increases in their intakes of water, fruits, and vegetables. They showed significant increases in positive outcome expectations about the behaviors, self-efficacy, goal intentions, competence, and autonomy.
Conclusions
The C3 curriculum was effective in improving many of the specifically targeted behaviors related to reducing obesity risk, indicating that combining inquiry-based science education and behavioral theory is a promising approach.
doi:10.1016/j.jada.2010.09.015
PMCID: PMC3016947  PMID: 21111093
8.  Factors influencing fast food consumption behaviors of middle-school students in Seoul: an application of theory of planned behaviors 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2011;5(2):169-178.
Fast food is popular among children and adolescents; however, its consumption has often been associated with negative impacts on nutrition and health. This study examined current fast food consumption status among middle school students and explored factors influencing fast food consumption by applying Theory of Planned Behavior. A total of 354 (52.5% boys) students were recruited from a middle school. The subjects completed a pre-tested questionnaire. The average monthly frequency of fast food consumption was 4.05 (4.25 for boys, 3.83 for girls). As expected, fast food consumption was considered to be a special event rather than part of an everyday diet, closely associated with meeting friends or celebrating, most likely with friends, special days. The Theory of Planned Behavior effectively explained fast food consumption behaviors with relatively high R2 around 0.6. Multiple regression analyses showed that fast food consumption behavior was significantly related to behavioral intention (b = 0.61, P < 0.001) and perceived behavioral control (b = 0.19, P < 0.001). Further analysis showed that behavioral intention was significantly related to subjective norm (b = 0.15, P < 0.01) and perceived behavioral control (b = 0.56, P < 0.001). Attitude toward fast food consumption was not significantly associated with behavioral intention. Therefore, effective nutrition education programs on fast food consumption should include components to change the subjective norms of fast food consumption, especially among peers, and perceived behavioral control. Further studies should examine effective ways of changing subjective norms and possible alternatives to fast food consumption for students to alter perceived behavioral control.
doi:10.4162/nrp.2011.5.2.169
PMCID: PMC3085807  PMID: 21556232
Fast food consumption; middle school students; theory of planned behavior
9.  A cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to promote healthy lifestyle habits to school leavers: study rationale, design, and methods 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:221.
Background
Physical inactivity and a poor diet predict lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Marked declines in physical activity occur during late adolescence, coinciding with the point at which many young people leave school and enter the workforce and begin to take greater control over their lifestyle behaviours. The work outlined within this paper sought to test a theoretically-informed intervention aimed at supporting increased engagement in physical activity and healthy eating habits in young people at the point of transition from school to work or work-based learning. As actively engaging young people in initiatives based on health messages is challenging, we also tested the efficacy of financial incentives in promoting initial engagement with the programme.
Methods/design
A three-arm cluster-randomised design was used. Participants were school pupils from Year 11 and 13 (i.e., in their final year of study), aged 16–18 years. To reduce contamination effects, the unit of randomisation was school. Participants were randomly allocated to receive (i) a 12-week behavioural support intervention consisting of six appointments, (ii) a behavioural support intervention plus incentives (totalling £40), or (iii) an information-only control group. Behavioural support was provided by fitness advisors at local leisure centres following an initial consultation with a dietician. Sessions focused on promoting habit formation through setting implementation intentions as part of an incremental goal setting process. Consistent with self-determination theory, all advisors were trained to provide guidance in an autonomy-supportive manner so that they were equipped to create a social context supportive of autonomous forms of participant motivation. The primary outcome was objectively assessed physical activity (via GT1M accelerometers). Secondary outcome measures were diet, motivation and habit strength. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention (12 weeks) and 12 months.
Discussion
Findings of this trial will provide valuable insight into the feasibility of promoting autonomous engagement in healthy physical activity and dietary habits among school leavers. The research also provides much needed data and detailed information related to the use of incentives for the initial promotion of young peoples’ behaviour change during this important transition.
Trial registration
The trial is registered as Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN55839517.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-221
PMCID: PMC3944885  PMID: 24592967
Motivation; Physical activity; Diet; Health; Well-being; Habit; Communication; Self-determination theory; Adolescent; Modifiable risk factors
10.  Explaining clinical behaviors using multiple theoretical models 
Background
In the field of implementation research, there is an increased interest in use of theory when designing implementation research studies involving behavior change. In 2003, we initiated a series of five studies to establish a scientific rationale for interventions to translate research findings into clinical practice by exploring the performance of a number of different, commonly used, overlapping behavioral theories and models. We reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the methods, the performance of the theories, and consider where these methods sit alongside the range of methods for studying healthcare professional behavior change.
Methods
These were five studies of the theory-based cognitions and clinical behaviors (taking dental radiographs, performing dental restorations, placing fissure sealants, managing upper respiratory tract infections without prescribing antibiotics, managing low back pain without ordering lumbar spine x-rays) of random samples of primary care dentists and physicians. Measures were derived for the explanatory theoretical constructs in the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), and Illness Representations specified by the Common Sense Self Regulation Model (CSSRM). We constructed self-report measures of two constructs from Learning Theory (LT), a measure of Implementation Intentions (II), and the Precaution Adoption Process. We collected data on theory-based cognitions (explanatory measures) and two interim outcome measures (stated behavioral intention and simulated behavior) by postal questionnaire survey during the 12-month period to which objective measures of behavior (collected from routine administrative sources) were related. Planned analyses explored the predictive value of theories in explaining variance in intention, behavioral simulation and behavior.
Results
Response rates across the five surveys ranged from 21% to 48%; we achieved the target sample size for three of the five surveys. For the predictor variables, the mean construct scores were above the mid-point on the scale with median values across the five behaviors generally being above four out of seven and the range being from 1.53 to 6.01. Across all of the theories, the highest proportion of the variance explained was always for intention and the lowest was for behavior. The Knowledge-Attitudes-Behavior Model performed poorly across all behaviors and dependent variables; CSSRM also performed poorly. For TPB, SCT, II, and LT across the five behaviors, we predicted median R2 of 25% to 42.6% for intention, 6.2% to 16% for behavioral simulation, and 2.4% to 6.3% for behavior.
Conclusions
We operationalized multiple theories measuring across five behaviors. Continuing challenges that emerge from our work are: better specification of behaviors, better operationalization of theories; how best to appropriately extend the range of theories; further assessment of the value of theories in different settings and groups; exploring the implications of these methods for the management of chronic diseases; and moving to experimental designs to allow an understanding of behavior change.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-99
PMCID: PMC3500222  PMID: 23075284
11.  Click “Like” to Change Your Behavior: A Mixed Methods Study of College Students’ Exposure to and Engagement With Facebook Content Designed for Weight Loss 
Background
Overweight or obesity is prevalent among college students and many gain weight during this time. Traditional face-to-face weight loss interventions have not worked well in this population. Facebook is an attractive tool for delivering weight loss interventions for college students because of its popularity, potential to deliver strategies found in successful weight loss interventions, and ability to support ongoing adaptation of intervention content.
Objective
The objective of this study was to describe participant exposure to a Facebook page designed to deliver content to overweight/obese college students in a weight loss randomized controlled trial (N=404) and examine participant engagement with behavior change campaigns for weight loss delivered via Facebook.
Methods
The basis of the intervention campaign model were 5 self-regulatory techniques: intention formation, action planning, feedback, goal review, and self-monitoring. Participants were encouraged to engage their existing social network to meet their weight loss goals. A health coach moderated the page and modified content based on usage patterns and user feedback. Quantitative analyses were conducted at the Facebook post- and participant-level of analysis. Participant engagement was quantified by Facebook post type (eg, status update) and interaction (eg, like) and stratified by weight loss campaign (sequenced vs nonsequenced). A subset of participants were interviewed to evaluate the presence of passive online engagement or “lurking.”
Results
The health coach posted 1816 unique messages to the study’s Facebook page over 21 months, averaging 3.45 posts per day (SD 1.96, range 1-13). In all, 72.96% (1325/1816) of the posts were interacted with at least once (eg, liked). Of these, approximately 24.75% (328/1325) had 1-2 interactions, 23.39% (310/1325) had 3-5 interactions, 25.13% (333/1325) had 6-8 interactions, and 41 posts had 20 or more interactions (3.09%, 41/1325). There was significant variability among quantifiable (ie, visible) engagement. Of 199 participants in the final intervention sample, 32 (16.1%) were highly active users and 62 (31.2%) never visibly engaged with the intervention on Facebook. Polls were the most popular type of post followed by photos, with 97.5% (79/81) and 80.3% (386/481) interacted with at least once. Participants visibly engaged less with posts over time (partial r=–.33; P<.001). Approximately 40% of the participants interviewed (12/29, 41%) reported passively engaging with the Facebook posts by reading but not visibly interacting with them.
Conclusions
Facebook can be used to remotely deliver weight loss intervention content to college students with the help of a health coach who can iteratively tailor content and interact with participants. However, visible engagement with the study’s Facebook page was highly variable and declined over time. Whether the level of observed engagement is meaningful in terms of influencing changes in weight behaviors and outcomes will be evaluated at the completion of the overall study.
doi:10.2196/jmir.3267
PMCID: PMC4090380  PMID: 24964294
overweight; obesity; students; social networking; behavior; social behavior
12.  Determinants of Fast Food Consumption among Iranian High School Students Based on Planned Behavior Theory 
Journal of Obesity  2013;2013:147589.
Objective. This study was conducted to identify some factors (beliefs and norms) which are related to fast food consumption among high school students in Isfahan, Iran. We used the framework of the theory planned behavior (TPB) to predict this behavior. Subjects & Methods. Cross-sectional data were available from high school students (n = 521) who were recruited by cluster randomized sampling. All of the students completed a questionnaire assessing variables of standard TPB model including attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavior control (PBC), and the additional variables past behavior, actual behavior control (ABC). Results. The TPB variables explained 25.7% of the variance in intentions with positive attitude as the strongest (β = 0.31, P < 0.001) and subjective norms as the weakest (β = 0.29, P < 0.001) determinant. Concurrently, intentions accounted for 6% of the variance for fast food consumption. Past behavior and ABC accounted for an additional amount of 20.4% of the variance in fast food consumption. Conclusion. Overall, the present study suggests that the TPB model is useful in predicting related beliefs and norms to the fast food consumption among adolescents. Subjective norms in TPB model and past behavior in TPB model with additional variables (past behavior and actual behavior control) were the most powerful predictors of fast food consumption. Therefore, TPB model may be a useful framework for planning intervention programs to reduce fast food consumption by students.
doi:10.1155/2013/147589
PMCID: PMC3723084  PMID: 23936635
13.  Self-determined motivation towards physical activity in adolescents treated for obesity: an observational study 
Background
Within the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) framework, the first major study aim was to investigate the SDT tenets in an obese adolescent population by examining the factor structure of the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2 (BREQ-2) and by investigating associations between physical activity (PA) and motivation in obese adolescents. The second aim was to study differences in motivation according to adolescents' educational level, since lower educated obese adolescent are a sub-risk group for lower PA levels among the obese adolescents. The third aim was to investigate whether attending a residential obesity treatment program could lead to an increase in autonomous motivation towards PA and to see if the treatment effect on motivation was different in low versus high educated youth.
Methods
For the first study aim, the sample comprised 177 obese adolescents at the start of a 10-month multidisciplinary residential obesity treatment program (BMI = 35.9 ± 6.0 kg/m2, 15.1 ± 1.5 years, 62% girls). A subsample of 65 adolescents (stratified by educational level) were divided into low (n = 34) versus high educated (n = 31) as part of the second and third study aim. Motivation was assessed using the BREQ-2 and PA using the Flemish Physical Activity Questionnaire.
Results
Exploratory factor analysis showed sufficient validations with the original factor for 17 out of 19 BREQ-2 items. Significant positive correlations were found between PA and the composite score of relative autonomy (r = 0.31, p < 0.001), introjected (r = 0.23, p < 0.01), identified (r = 0.31, p < 0.001) and intrinsic regulation (r = 0.38, p < 0.001). Higher educated adolescents scored higher on the composite score of relative autonomy, introjected, identified and intrinsic regulation at the start of treatment (F = 3.68, p < 0.001). The composite score of relative autonomy, external, identified and intrinsic regulation significantly increased during treatment for all adolescents (F = 6.65, p < 0.001). Introjected regulation significantly increased for lower educated adolescents (F = 25.57, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
The BREQ-2 can be used in an obese adolescent population. Higher levels of autonomous motivation towards PA were related to higher PA levels. Adolescents had increases in both autonomous and controlled forms of motivation during treatment. Special attention for lower educated adolescents during treatment is needed, as they have a lower autonomous motivation at the start of treatment and an increase in introjected regulation during treatment.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-8-97
PMCID: PMC3189862  PMID: 21923955
14.  Prediction of leisure-time walking: an integration of social cognitive, perceived environmental, and personality factors 
Background
Walking is the primary focus of population-based physical activity initiatives but a theoretical understanding of this behaviour is still elusive. The purpose of this study was to integrate personality, the perceived environment, and planning into a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) framework to predict leisure-time walking.
Methods
Participants were a random sample (N = 358) of Canadian adults who completed measures of the TPB, planning, perceived neighbourhood environment, and personality at Time 1 and self-reported walking behaviour two months later.
Results
Analyses using structural equation modelling provided evidence that leisure-time walking is largely predicted by intention (standardized effect = .42) with an additional independent contribution from proximity to neighbourhood retail shops (standardized effect = .18). Intention, in turn, was predicted by attitudes toward walking and perceived behavioural control. Effects of perceived neighbourhood aesthetics and walking infrastructure on walking were mediated through attitudes and intention. Moderated regression analysis showed that the intention-walking relationship was moderated by conscientiousness and proximity to neighbourhood recreation facilities but not planning.
Conclusion
Overall, walking behaviour is theoretically complex but may best be addressed at a population level by facilitating strong intentions in a receptive environment even though individual differences may persist.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-4-51
PMCID: PMC2174941  PMID: 17974022
15.  Efficacy of a Computerized Simulation in Promoting Walking in Individuals With Diabetes 
Background
Regular walking is a recommended but underused self-management strategy for individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Objective
To test the impact of a simulation-based intervention on the beliefs, intentions, knowledge, and walking behavior of individuals with T2DM. We compared two versions of a brief narrated simulation. The experimental manipulation included two components: the presentation of the expected effect of walking on the glucose curve; and the completion of an action plan for walking over the next week. Primary hypotheses were (1) intervention participants’ walking (minutes/week) would increase more than control participants’ walking, and (2) change in outcome expectancies (beliefs) would be a function of the discrepancy between prior beliefs and those presented in the simulation. Secondary hypotheses were that, overall, behavioral intentions to walk in the coming week and diabetes-related knowledge would increase in both groups.
Methods
Individuals were randomly assigned to condition. Preintervention measures included self-reported physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire [IPAQ] 7-day), theory of planned behavior-related beliefs, and knowledge (Diabetes Knowledge Test). During the narrated simulation we measured individuals’ outcome expectancies regarding the effect of exercise on glucose with a novel drawing task. Postsimulation measures included theory of planned behavior beliefs, knowledge, and qualitative impressions of the narrated simulation. The IPAQ 7-day was readministered by phone 1 week later. We used a linear model that accounted for baseline walking to test the main hypothesis regarding walking. Discrepancy scores were calculated between the presented outcome and individuals’ prior expectations (measured by the drawing task). A linear model with an interaction between intervention status and the discrepancy score was used to test the hypothesis regarding change in outcome expectancy. Pre–post changes in intention and knowledge were tested using paired t tests.
Results
Of 65 participants, 33 were in the intervention group and 32 in the control group. We excluded 2 participants from analysis due to being extreme outliers in baseline walking. After adjustment for baseline difference in age and intentions between groups, intervention participants increased walking by 61.0 minutes/week (SE 30.5, t 58 = 1.9, P = .05) more than controls. The proposed interaction between the presented outcome and the individual’s prior beliefs was supported: after adjustment for baseline differences in age and intentions between groups, the coefficient for the interaction was –.25, (SE 0.07, t 57 = –3.2, P < .01). On average participants in both groups improved significantly from baseline in intentions (mean difference 0.66, t 62 = 4.5, P < .001) and knowledge (mean difference 0.38, t 62 = 2.4, P = .02).
Conclusions
This study suggests that a brief, Internet-ready, simulation-based intervention can improve knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and short-term behavior in individuals with T2DM.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1965
PMCID: PMC3799542  PMID: 22576226
Computer simulation; type 2 diabetes mellitus; physical activity; blood glucose
16.  What works in school-based energy balance behaviour interventions and what does not? A systematic review of mediating mechanisms 
Objective:
Obesity prevention requires effective interventions targeting the so-called energy balance-related behaviours (that is, physical activity, sedentary and dietary behaviours). To improve (cost-)effectiveness of these interventions, one needs to know the working mechanisms underlying behavioural change. Mediation analyses evaluates whether an intervention works via hypothesised working mechanisms. Identifying mediators can prompt intervention developers to strengthen effective intervention components and remove/adapt ineffective components. This systematic review aims to identify psychosocial and environmental mediators of energy balance-related behaviours interventions for youth.
Method:
Studies were identified by a systematic search of electronic databases (Pubmed, Embase, PsycINFO, ERIC and SPORTDiscus). Studies were included if they (1) were school-based randomised controlled or quasi-experimental studies; (2) targeted energy balance behaviours; (3) conducted among children and adolescents (4–18 years of age); (4) written in English; and (5) conducted mediation analyses.
Results:
A total of 24 studies were included. We found strong evidence for self-efficacy and moderate evidence for intention as mediators of physical activity interventions. Indications were found for attitude, knowledge and habit strength to be mediators of dietary behaviour interventions. The few sedentary behaviour interventions reporting on mediating effects prevented us from forming strong conclusions regarding mediators of sedentary behaviour interventions. The majority of interventions failed to significantly change hypothesised mediators because of ineffective intervention strategies, low power and/or use of insensitive measures.
Conclusion:
Despite its importance, few studies published results of mediation analysis, and more high-quality research into relevant mediators is necessary. On the basis of the limited number of published studies, self-efficacy and intention appear to be relevant mediators for physical activity interventions. Future intervention developers are advised to provide information on the theoretical base of their intervention including the strategies applied to provide insight into which strategies are effective in changing relevant mediators. In addition, future research is advised to focus on the development, validity, reliability and sensitivity of mediator measures.
doi:10.1038/ijo.2011.68
PMCID: PMC3191379  PMID: 21487398
mediator; physical activity; diet; intervention; sedentary behaviour; youth
17.  Sedentary Behavior as a Daily Process Regulated by Habits and Intentions 
Objective
Sedentary behavior is a health risk but little is known about the motivational processes that regulate daily sedentary behavior. This study was designed to test a dual-process model of daily sedentary behavior, with an emphasis on the role of intentions and habits in regulating daily sedentary behavior.
Methods
College students (N = 128) self-reported on their habit strength for sitting and completed a 14-day ecological momentary assessment study that combined daily diaries for reporting motivation and behavior with ambulatory monitoring of sedentary behavior using accelerometers.
Results
Less than half of the variance in daily sedentary behavior was attributable to between-person differences. People with stronger sedentary habits reported more sedentary behavior on average. People whose intentions for limiting sedentary behavior were stronger, on average, exhibited less self-reported sedentary behavior (and marginally less monitored sedentary behavior). Daily deviations in those intentions were negatively associated with changes in daily sedentary behavior (i.e., stronger than usual intentions to limit sedentary behavior were associated with reduced sedentary behavior). Sedentary behavior also varied within-people as a function of concurrent physical activity, the day of week, and the day in the sequence of the monitoring period.
Conclusions
Sedentary behavior was regulated by both automatic and controlled motivational processes. Interventions should target both of these motivational processes to facilitate and maintain behavior change. Links between sedentary behavior and daily deviations in intentions also indicate the need for ongoing efforts to support controlled motivational processes on a daily basis.
doi:10.1037/a0031629
PMCID: PMC4134884  PMID: 23477579
sitting; inactivity; goal; perception-behavior link
18.  Using Internet and Mobile Phone Technology to Deliver an Automated Physical Activity Program: Randomized Controlled Trial 
Background
The Internet has potential as a medium for health behavior change programs, but no controlled studies have yet evaluated the impact of a fully automated physical activity intervention over several months with real-time objective feedback from a monitor.
Objective
The aim was to evaluate the impact of a physical activity program based on the Internet and mobile phone technology provided to individuals for 9 weeks.
Methods
A single-center, randomized, stratified controlled trial was conducted from September to December 2005 in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, with 77 healthy adults whose mean age was 40.4 years (SD = 7.6) and mean body mass index was 26.3 (SD = 3.4). Participants were randomized to a test group that had access to an Internet and mobile phone–based physical activity program (n = 47) or to a control group (n = 30) that received no support. The test group received tailored solutions for perceived barriers, a schedule to plan weekly exercise sessions with mobile phone and email reminders, a message board to share their experiences with others, and feedback on their level of physical activity. Both groups were issued a wrist-worn accelerometer to monitor their level of physical activity; only the test group received real-time feedback via the Internet. The main outcome measures were accelerometer data and self-report of physical activity.
Results
At the end of the study period, the test group reported a significantly greater increase over baseline than did the control group for perceived control (P < .001) and intention/expectation to exercise (P < .001). Intent-to-treat analyses of both the accelerometer data (P = .02) and leisure time self-report data (P = .03) found a higher level of moderate physical activity in the test group. The average increase (over the control group) in accelerometer-measured moderate physical activity was 2 h 18 min per week. The test group also lost more percent body fat than the control group (test group: −2.18, SD = 0.59; control group: −0.17, SD = 0.81; P = .04).
Conclusions
A fully automated Internet and mobile phone–based motivation and action support system can significantly increase and maintain the level of physical activity in healthy adults.
doi:10.2196/jmir.9.2.e7
PMCID: PMC1874722  PMID: 17478409
Behavior change; Health behavior; Behavior therapy; Obesity prevention; Health promotion; Exercise; Cellular phone; Internet; Consumer health informatics; Randomized controlled trial
19.  Intention to voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) among health professionals in Jimma zone, Ethiopia: the theory of planned behavior (TPB) perspective 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:140.
Background
Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing (VCT) forms one of the cornerstones of HIV prevention strategies. It is imperative to understand HIV testing correlates and their theoretical underpinnings in order to promote VCT uptake. The aim of this study was to predict the intention to VCT and associated factors among health professionals in Jimma zone, Ethiopia using the theory of planned behavior.
Methods
An institution based cross-sectional quantitative study among a sample of 336 health professionals in 12 selected districts of Jimma, Ethiopia was conducted in 2012. The constructs and principles of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) were measured. Data were collected using structured questionnaire on self administered basis. A multivariable linear regression model was used to predict the role of independent variables/TPB constructs on the intention to use VCT using SPSS version 16.0.
Results
The components of TPB independently explained the variance in intention to VCT by 30.3%. Both components of TPB and socio-demographic characteristic in the final model explained 32.7% of variance in the intention to use VCT services. Significant proportions (33.0%) of the respondents have never been tested for HIV. The respective indirect components of the TPB predicted the direct components. The strongest predictors of intention to VCT were subjective norm (β=0.39, p<0.001) and attitude (β= 0.19, p<0.001) whereas, none of the socio-demographic variables were significantly predicted the intention to use VCT. Past VCT experience did not have significant statistical association with VCT use intention.
Conclusions
Behavioral intention to use VCT was a function of attitude and perceived social pressure. Demographic related social determinants were not barriers for VCT use intention. Most health workers test their blood by themselves. Strategies to empower health professionals on social pressure resistance and programs targeted at changing negative attitude on VCT use can enhance intention of health professionals to use VCT.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-140
PMCID: PMC3599811  PMID: 23414398
HIV/AIDS; VCT; HCT; Health professionals; Intention; TPB; Jimma zone; Ethiopia
20.  A Daily Process Analysis of Intentions and Physical Activity in College Students 
Social-cognitive theories, such as the theory of planned behavior, posit intentions as proximal influences on physical activity (PA). This paper extends those theories by examining within-person variation in intentions and moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) as a function of the unfolding constraints in people’s daily lives (e.g., perceived time availability, fatigue, soreness, weather, overeating). College students (N = 63) completed a 14-day diary study rating daily motivation, contextual constraints, and PA over the internet. Key findings from multilevel analyses were that (1) between-person differences represented 46% and 33% of the variability in daily MVPA intentions and behavior, respectively, (2) attitudes, injunctive norms, self-efficacy, perceptions of limited time availability, and weekend status predicted daily changes in intention strength, and (3) daily changes in intentions, perceptions of limited time availability, and weekend status predicted day-to-day changes in MVPA. Embedding future motivation and PA research in the context of people’s daily lives will advance understanding of individual PA change processes.
PMCID: PMC4104787  PMID: 24197717
self-regulation; planned behavior; intraindividual
21.  Socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates of physical activity behavior among older adults (45–70 years): a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:647.
Background
Present study aimed to identify socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates of physical activity among Dutch older individuals.
Methods
A systematic random sample of 2,568 Dutch participants aged 45–70 years filled out the validated modified Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS) questionnaire on physical activity. Socio-demographic and social-cognitive correlates were measured with validated instruments; medical correlates were checked by a general practitioner. The study had a cross-sectional design and the data collection ran from March 2005 until August 2006. Linear regression analyses were conducted to identify correlates of PA. We separated the findings for men from those for women to explore potential gender-specific associations.
Results
Being female, living in North Limburg or North-Brabant, having a higher educational level, a higher perceived behavioral control, more knowledge about PA advantages, a stronger habitual PA behavior, having more action plans and a stronger intention to engage in PA were significantly associated with higher PA levels. Being older, being a smoker, having a higher body mass index (BMI), having a paid job, observing others being physically active and overestimating one's PA level were associated with being less physically active. Socio-demographic and medical correlates significantly explained 20% of the variance of PA behavior while social-cognitive correlates as attitude explained an additional 4% and intention together with actual control explained another 1% of the variance of PA behavior.
Conclusion
There may be stable individual differences that influence PA in view of the fact that several socio-demographic and medical factors were not completely mediated by the socio-cognitive factors. The current study may help to focus PA interventions for individuals aged 45–70 years on influential socio-demographic, medical and social-cognitive correlates. Physical activity was significantly associated with age, gender, education, BMI, work situation, region of residence, smoking, awareness, advantages, descriptive norm, perceived behavioral control, habit, action plans and intention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-647
PMCID: PMC4089561  PMID: 24965940
Physical activity; Prevention; Cardiovascular disease; Intervention; Public health
22.  The environment and physical activity: The influence of psychosocial, perceived and built environmental factors 
This study sought to integrate perceived and built environmental and individual factors into the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to better understand adolescents' physical activity.
Participants (n = 110) aged 12 to 17 years (M = 14.6 ± 1.55) were recruited from two large metropolitan high schools in Auckland, New Zealand, were included in the analysis. Participants completed measures of the revised TPB and the perceived environment. Individual factors such as ethnicity and level of deprivation were also collected. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software was used to measure the physical environment (walkability, access to physical activity facilities). Physical activity was assessed using the ActiGraph accelerometer and the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Data from the various sources were combined to develop an integrated model integrated for statistical analysis using structural equation modeling.
The TPB model variables (intention and perceived behavioral control) explained 43% of the variance of PAQ-A. Unique and individual contributions were made by intention and PBC and home ownership of home equipment. The model explained 13% of time spent in moderate and vigorous physical activity (Actigraph). Unique and individual contribution was made by intention.
Social cognitive variables were better predictors of both subjective and objective physical activity compared to perceived environmental and built environment factors. Implications of these findings are discussed.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-6-19
PMCID: PMC2683167  PMID: 19331652
23.  Rationale and study protocol for the supporting children’s outcomes using rewards, exercise and skills (SCORES) group randomized controlled trial: A physical activity and fundamental movement skills intervention for primary schools in low-income communities 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:427.
Background
Many Australian children are insufficiently active to accrue health benefits and physical activity (PA) levels are consistently lower among youth of low socio-economic position. PA levels decline dramatically during adolescence and evidence suggests that competency in a range of fundamental movement skills (FMS) may serve as a protective factor against this trend.
Methods/design
The Supporting Children’s Outcomes Using Rewards Exercise and Skills (SCORES) intervention is a multi-component PA and FMS intervention for primary schools in low-income communities, which will be evaluated using a group randomized controlled trial. The socio-ecological model provided a framework for the 12-month intervention, which includes the following components: teacher professional learning, student leadership workshops (including leadership accreditation and rewards, e.g., stickers, water bottles), PA policy review, PA equipment packs, parental engagement via newsletters, FMS homework and a parent evening, and community partnerships with local sporting organizations. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline, 6- and 12-months. The primary outcomes are PA (accelerometers), FMS (Test of Gross Motor Development II) and cardiorespiratory fitness (multi-stage fitness test). Secondary outcomes include body mass index [using weight (kg)/height (m2)], perceived competence, physical self-esteem, and resilience. Individual and environmental mediators of behavior change (e.g. social support and enjoyment) will also be assessed. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time will be used to assess the impact of the intervention on PA within physical education lessons. Statistical analyses will follow intention-to-treat principles and hypothesized mediators of PA behavior change will be explored.
Discussion
SCORES is an innovative primary school-based PA and FMS intervention designed to support students attending schools in low-income communities to be more skilled and active. The findings from the study may be used to guide teacher pre-service education, professional learning and school policy in primary schools.
Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry No: ACTRN12611001080910
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-427
PMCID: PMC3490777  PMID: 22691451
24.  Application of the Protection Motivation Theory in Predicting Cigarette Smoking Among Adolescents in China 
Addictive behaviors  2013;39(1):181-188.
Reducing tobacco use among adolescents in China represents a significant challenge for global tobacco control. Existing behavioral theories developed in the West – such as the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) – may be useful tools to help tackle this challenge. We examined the relationships between PMT factors and self-reported cigarette smoking behavior and intention among a random sample of vocational high school students (N = 553) in Wuhan, China. Tobacco-related perceptions were assessed using the PMT Scale for Adolescent Smoking. Among the total sample, 45% had initiated cigarette smoking, and 25% smoked in the past month. Among those who never smoked, 15% indicated being likely or very likely to smoke in a year. Multiple regression modeling analysis indicated the significance of the seven PMT constructs, the four PMT perceptions and the two PMT pathways in predicting intention to smoke and actual smoking behavior. Overall, perceived rewards of smoking, especially intrinsic rewards, were consistently positively related to smoking intentions and behavior, and self-efficacy to avoid smoking was negatively related to smoking. The current study suggests the utility of PMT for further research examining adolescent smoking. PMT-based smoking prevention and clinical smoking cessation intervention programs should focus more on adolescents’ perceived rewards from smoking and perceived efficacy of not smoking to reduce their intention to and actual use of tobacco.
doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.09.027
PMCID: PMC3966196  PMID: 24157424
Protection Motivation Theory; Adolescents; Cigarette smoking; China
25.  Psychological theory in an interdisciplinary context: psychological, demographic, health-related, social, and environmental correlates of physical activity in a representative cohort of community-dwelling older adults 
Background
Physical activity (PA) in older adults is influenced by a range of environmental, demographic, health-related, social, and psychological variables. Social cognitive psychological models assume that all influences on behaviour operate indirectly through the models constructs, i.e., via intention and self-efficacy. We evaluated direct, indirect, and moderating relationships of a broad range of external variables with physical activity levels alongside intention and self-efficacy.
Methods
We performed a cross-sectional survey of a representative and stratified (65–80 and 80+ years; deprived and affluent) sample of 584 community-dwelling people, resident in Scotland. Objectively measured physical activity and questionnaire data were collected.
Results
Self-efficacy showed unique relationships with physical activity, controlling for demographic, mental health, social, environmental, and weather variables separately, but the relationship was not significant when controlling for physical health. Overall, results indicating support for a mediation hypothesis, intention and self-efficacy statistically mediate the relationship of most domain variables with physical activity. Moderation analyses show that the relationship between social cognitions and physical activity was stronger for individuals with better physical health and lower levels of socio-economic deprivation.
Conclusions
Social cognitive variables reflect a range of known environmental, demographic, health-related and social correlates of physical activity, they mediate the relationships of those correlates with physical activity and account for additional variance in physical activity when external correlates are controlled for, except for the physical health domain. The finding that the social cognition-physical activity relationship is higher for participants with better health and higher levels of affluence raises issues for the applicability of social cognitive models to the most disadvantaged older people.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-10-106
PMCID: PMC3847689  PMID: 24011129
Physical activity; Older adults; Social ecological model

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