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Shane N. Sweet, Lawrence R. Brawley, Alexandra Hatchell, Heather L. Gainforth and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

Given the positive influence of action planning on physical activity, persuasive messages could be designed to promote action planning. The purpose of this paper was to test action planning messages in two studies. Participants were allocated to one of two message groups, reading either a physical activity only or physical activity plus action planning message (Study 1) and either a gain-framed or loss-framed action planning message (Study 2). The percent of individuals who created an action plan and the quality of the plans were evaluated. In Study 1, individuals in the physical activity plus action planning group created as many action plans as the physical activity only group, but their plans were higher quality. In Study 2, Week 2 differences between the gain- and loss-framed message groups were found for action planning. To our knowledge, these studies were the first to investigate message-induced action planning as a behavior. More research is needed to optimize these messages.

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Jaclyn P. Maher and David E. Conroy

This study was designed to examine the moderating influence of habit strength on daily action planning effects on physical activity and sedentary behavior. A 2 by 2 design was used with experimental factors corresponding to action planning interventions for (a) engaging in physical activity and (b) limiting or interrupting sedentary behavior. At the end of each day for 1 week, university students (n = 195) completed (a) a questionnaire about their behavior during the day and behavioral intentions for the following day and (b) a planning intervention(s) corresponding to their randomly assigned experimental condition. Action planning increased physical activity in those with weak habits but decreased physical activity in those with strong habits compared with those who did not create action plans. Action planning did not impact sedentary behavior. Action planning was a useful behavior change technique for increasing physical activity in people with weak habits, but may be iatrogenic for those with strong habits.

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Sonia Lippke, Jochen P. Ziegelmann and Ralf Schwarzer

Patients in rehabilitation settings often face difficulties in complying with physical exercise regimens. To examine social-cognitive determinants in the adoption and maintenance of exercise, a study with four points in time was launched, scrutinizing beliefs and behaviors of 509 orthopedic patients. Although exercise levels increased over time, a sizable number of patients remained inactive. Perceived self-efficacy and outcome expectancies predicted levels of intention and action plans. The latter two in turn were proximal predictors of subsequent exercise. In light of the findings, it is argued that planning helps to bridge the intention-behavior gap. Planning is an alterable variable and is therefore suitable for effective intervention.

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Ron Courson, Lenny Navitskis and Harris Patel

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Brian W. Potter and R. Daniel Martin

Edited by Shane Caswell

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Katie Walsh

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Johanna Nurmi, Martin S. Hagger, Ari Haukkala, Vera Araújo-Soares and Nelli Hankonen

This study tested the predictive validity of a multitheory process model in which the effect of autonomous motivation from self-determination theory on physical activity participation is mediated by the adoption of self-regulatory techniques based on control theory. Finnish adolescents (N = 411, aged 17–19) completed a prospective survey including validated measures of the predictors and physical activity, at baseline and after one month (N = 177). A subsample used an accelerometer to objectively measure physical activity and further validate the physical activity self-report assessment tool (n = 44). Autonomous motivation statistically significantly predicted action planning, coping planning, and self-monitoring. Coping planning and self-monitoringmediated the effect of autonomous motivation on physical activity, although self-monitoring was the most prominent. Controlled motivation had no effect on self-regulation techniques or physical activity. Developing interventions that support autonomous motivation for physical activity may foster increased engagement in self-regulation techniques and positively affect physical activity behavior.

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Rebecca L. Mokris, Gary R. Hanna and Audra W. Neumann

Edited by Shane Caswell

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Nancy J. Bridenthrall