Two persuasive communications were developed to assess the utility of an intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behavior in promoting physical activity attitudes, intentions, and behavior. One persuasive communication targeted modal salient behavioral beliefs (salient belief condition) while the other persuasive communication targeted nonsalient behavioral beliefs (nonsalient belief condition). Results of an intervention study conducted on young people (N = 83, mean age 14.60 yrs, SD = .47) indicated that participants who were presented with the persuasive message targeting modal salient behavioral beliefs reported more positive attitudes (p < .05) and stronger intentions (p = .059) than those presented with the message targeting nonsalient behavioral beliefs. However, neither communication influenced physical activity participation (p > .05). Path analysis also indicated that the effects of the persuasive communication on intentions were mediated by attitudes and not by perceived behavioral control or subjective norms.
School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of Exeter, Heavitree Rd, Exeter, EX1 2LU, U.K.
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, U.K.