Explaining young adults' drinking behaviour within an augmented Theory of Planned Behaviour: Temporal stability of drinker prototypes

B. van Lettow, H. de Vries, A. Burdorf, M. Conner, P. van Empelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

ObjectivesPrototypes (i.e., social images) predict health-related behaviours and intentions within the context of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). This study tested the moderating role of temporal stability of drinker prototype perceptions on prototype-intentions and prototype-behaviour relationships, within an augmented TPB. The study examined abstainer, moderate drinker, heavy drinker, tipsy, and drunk prototypes.

Design and MethodsAn online prospective study with 1-month follow-up was conducted among 410 young adults (18-25years old, M-age=21.0, SD=2.14, 21.7% male). Assessed were prototype perceptions (favourability and similarity, T1, T2), stability of prototype perceptions, TPB variables (T1), intentions (T2), and drinking behaviour (T2). Intention analyses were corrected for baseline behaviour; drinking behaviour analyses were corrected for intentions and baseline behaviour.

ResultsHierarchical regressions showed that prototype stability moderated the relationships of drunk and abstainer prototype similarity with intentions. Similarity to the abstainer prototype explained intentions to drink sensibly more strongly among individuals with stable perceptions than among those with unstable perceptions. Conversely, intentions were explained stronger among individuals with stable perceptions of dissimilarity to the drunk prototype than among those with unstable perceptions. No moderation effects were found for stability of favourability or for relationships with behaviour.

ConclusionsStable prototype similarity perceptions were more predictive of intentions than unstable perceptions. These perceptions were most relevant in enhancing the explanation of young adults' intended drinking behaviour. Specifically, young adults' health intentions seem to be guided by the dissociation from the drunk prototype and association with the abstainer prototype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-323
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date3 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Keywords

  • prototypes
  • temporal stability
  • favourability
  • similarity
  • drinking behaviour
  • intentions
  • young adults
  • HEALTH-RISK BEHAVIOR
  • PROTOTYPE/WILLINGNESS MODEL
  • IMPLEMENTATION INTENTIONS
  • BINGE-DRINKING
  • WILLINGNESS
  • NORMS
  • PREADOLESCENTS
  • MODERATION
  • EFFICACY
  • IMPACT

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