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1.  Models accounting for intention-behavior discordance in the physical activity domain: a user’s guide, content overview, and review of current evidence 
There is a growing concern among researchers with the limited effectiveness and yet subsequent stagnation of theories applied to physical activity (PA). One of the most highlighted areas of concern is the established gap between intention and PA, yet the considerable use of models that assume intention is the proximal antecedent of PA. The objective of this review was to: 1) provide a guide and thematic analysis of the available models that include constructs that address intention-behavior discordance and 2) highlight the evidence for these structures in the PA domain. A literature search was conducted among 13 major databases to locate relevant models and PA studies published before August 2014. Sixteen models were identified and nine overall themes for post-intentional constructs were created. Of the 16 models, eight were applied to 36 PA studies. Early evidence supported maintenance self-efficacy, behavioral regulation strategies, affective judgments, perceived control/opportunity, habit, and extraversion as reliable predictors of post-intention PA. Several intention-behavior discordance models exist within the literature, but are not used frequently. Further efforts are needed to test these models, preferably with experimental designs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12966-015-0168-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4328062
Theory; Intention-behavior gap; Volition; Post-intention; Exercise; Action control
2.  Oh baby! Motivation for healthy eating during parenthood transitions: a longitudinal examination with a theory of planned behavior perspective 
Transitioning to parenthood is a major life event that may impact parents’ personal lifestyles, yet there is an absence of theory-based research examining the impact of parenthood on motives for dietary behaviour. As a result, we are unaware of the social cognitive variables that predict eating behaviour among those transitioning to parenthood. The purpose of the study was to examine eating behaviour motives across 12 months within the framework of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and compare these across groups of new parents, non-parents, and established parents.
Non-parents (n = 92), new parents (n = 135), and established parents (n = 71) completed TPB questionnaires assessing attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and intentions and three day food records at baseline, and 6- and 12-months post-delivery (for parents) and 6- and 12-months post-baseline (for non-parents).
Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed that among men, new- and established-parents had greater intentions to eat healthy compared to non-parents, F(2) = 3.59, p = .03. Among women, established parents had greater intentions than new- and non-parents, F(2) = 5.33, p = .01. Among both men and women during the first 6-months post-delivery, new-parents experienced decreased PBC, whereas established parents experienced increased PBC. Overall, affective attitudes were the strongest predictor of intentions for men (β = 0.55, p < .001) and women (β = 0.38, p < .01). PBC predicted changes in fruit and vegetable consumption for men (β = 0.45, p = .02), and changes in fat consumption for men (β = −0.25, p = .03) and women (β = −.24, p < .05), regardless of parent status.
The transition to parenthood for new and established parents may impact motivation for healthy eating, especially PBC within the framework of TPB. However, regardless of parental status, affective attitudes and PBC are critical antecedents of intentions and eating behaviour. Interventions should target affective attitudes and PBC to motivate healthy eating and may need to be intensified during parenthood.
PMCID: PMC3706269  PMID: 23829582
Theory of planned behaviour; Nutrition; Dietary behaviour; Parenthood
3.  Correlates of physical activity in a population-based sample of kidney cancer survivors: an application of the theory of planned behavior 
Over half of kidney cancer survivors (KCS) are completely inactive and only a quarter are meeting physical activity (PA) guidelines. This highlights the need to identify and understand the determinants of PA in this understudied population. The purpose of this study is to determine the social cognitive correlates of PA intention and behavior in KCS using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB).
All 1,985 KCS diagnosed between 1996 and 2010 in Alberta, Canada were mailed a self-report survey that consisted of the Godin Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire and standard TPB items for intention, planning, perceived behavioral control (PBC), affective and instrumental attitudes, and descriptive and injunctive norms. Standard demographic and medical variables were also collected.
Completed surveys were received from 703 of 1,654 (43%) eligible KCS. The TPB was tested using structural equation modelling and demonstrated an adequate-to-good fit to the data [χ² = 256.88, p < .001; TLI = 0.97; CFI = 0.98; RMSEA = 0.06, 90% CI = 0.05-0.06].
There were significant pathways to PA from PBC (ß = 0.18, p = 0.02), planning (ß = 0.22, p < 0.01), and intention (ß = 0.31, p < 0.01); and to planning from intention (ß = 0.81, p < 0.01). In addition, there were significant model pathways to intention from instrumental attitude (ß = 0.28, p = 0.03), descriptive norm (ß = 0.09, p = 0.01), and PBC (ß = 0.52, p < 0.01). Overall, the TPB accounted for 69%, 63%, and 42% of the variance in intention, planning and PA, respectively.
The TPB appears to be a useful model for explaining PA in KCS. All TPB constructs except injunctive norm and affective attitude were useful for explaining intention with PBC emerging as the largest correlate. Developing PA interventions based on the TPB may be effective in promoting PA in KCS and may lead to important improvements in health.
PMCID: PMC3489870  PMID: 22866956
Exercise; Motivation; Social cognitive models; Correlates
4.  Mediators of physical activity behaviour change among adult non-clinical populations: a review update 
An understanding of the determinants of physical activity through mediators of behaviour change is important in order to evaluate the efficacy of interventions. Prior reviews on this topic noted that few studies employed mediator analyses in experimental physical activity trials; the purpose of this review is to update these prior reviews in order to evaluate the state of our present understanding of interventions that include proposed mediators of behaviour change.
Literature was identified through electronic database (e.g., MEDLINE, psychINFO) searching. Studies were eligible if they described a published experimental or quasi-experimental trial examining the effect of an intervention on physical activity behaviour and mediator change in non-clinical adult populations. Quality of included studies was assessed and the analyses examined the symmetry between mediators and behaviour change.
Twenty seven unique trials passed the eligibility criteria and 22 were included in the analysis with scores of moderate or higher quality. Half of the studies reviewed failed to show an intervention effect on PA. The remaining studies showed evidence that the intervention affected changes in the proposed mediators, but tests of mediated effect were performed in only six of these 11 cases and demonstrated mixed outcomes. Differences by theory were not discernable at this time, but self-regulation constructs had the most evidence for mediation.
Published literature employing mediators of change analyses in experimental designs is still relatively elusive since the time of prior reviews; however, the general null findings of changes in mediating constructs from these interventions are a more timely concern. Changes in self-regulation constructs may have the most effect on changes in PA while self-efficacy and outcome expectation type constructs have negligible but limited findings. Innovation and increased fidelity of interventions is needed and should be a priority for future research.
PMCID: PMC2876989  PMID: 20459781
5.  A test of cognitive mediation in a 12-month physical activity workplace intervention: does it explain behaviour change in women? 
Attempts to demonstrate the efficacy of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity (PA) have been mixed. Further, studies are seldom designed in a manner that facilitates the understanding of how or why a treatment is effective or ineffective and PA intervention designs should be guided by a heavier reliance upon behavioral theory. The use of a mediating variable framework offers a systematic methodological approach to testing the role of theory, and could also identify the effectiveness of specific intervention components. The primary purpose of this paper was to test the mediating role that cognitive constructs may have played in regards to the positive effect that a workplace behavioral intervention had on leisure-time PA for women. A subsidiary purpose was to examine the cross-sectional relationships of these cognitive constructs with PA behavior.
The Physical Activity Workplace Study was a randomized controlled trial which compared the effects of stage-matched and standard print materials upon self-reported leisure-time PA, within a workplace sample at 6 and 12-months. In this secondary analysis we examined the mediation effects of 14 psychosocial constructs across 3 major social-cognitive theories which were operationalized for the intervention materials and measured at baseline, 6 and 12-months. We examined change in PA and change in the psychological constructs employing a mediation strategy proposed by Baron and Kenny for: (1) the first 6-months (i.e., initial change), (2) the second 6-months (i.e., delayed change), and (3) the entire 12-months (overall change) of the study on 323 women (n = 213 control/standard materials group; n = 110 stage-matched materials group).
Of the 14 constructs and 42 tests (including initial, delayed and overall change) two positive results were identified (i.e., overall change in pros, initial change in experiential powerful intervention approaches processes), with very small effect sizes. However, these mediating results were eliminated after adjusting for the multiple statistical tests.
The intervention did not change these mediators in any substantive way, and show a similar pattern to prior research where interventions generally do not result in a change in mediation of behavior change. It is important to report mediation results in randomized controlled trials whether the findings are null or positive. Future studies may wish to focus on more detailed dose-response issues between mediators and behavior, the inclusion of moderators that could affect individual change, or different mediator constructs at higher levels of measurement specificity. Continued work on innovative and more powerful PA intervention approaches are needed.
PMCID: PMC2874508  PMID: 20438632
6.  Prediction of leisure-time walking: an integration of social cognitive, perceived environmental, and personality factors 
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2174941  PMID: 17974022

Results 1-6 (6)