Self-Regulatory processes mediate the intention-behavior relation for adherence and exercise behaviors

M. de Bruin, P. Scheeran, G. Kok, A. Hiemstra, J.M. Prins, H.J. Hospers, G.J.P. van Breukelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Understanding the gap between people's intentions and actual health behavior is an important issue in health psychology. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether self-regulatory processes (monitoring goal progress and responding to discrepancies) mediate the intention-behavior relation in relation to HIV medication adherence (Study I) and intensive exercise behavior (Study 2). Method: In Study 1, questionnaire and electronically monitored adherence data were collected at baseline and 3 months later from patients in the control arm of an HIV-adherence intervention study. In Study 2, questionnaire data was collected at 3 time points 6-weeks apart in a cohort study of physical activity. Results: Complete data at all time points were obtained from 51 HIV-infected patients and 499 intensive exercise participants. Intentions were good predictors of behavior and explained 25 to 30% of the variance. Self-regulatory processes explained an additional 11% (Study I) and 6% (Study 2) of variance in behavior on top of intentions. Regression and bootstrap analyses revealed at least partial, and possibly full, mediation of the intention-behavior relation by self-regulatory processes. Conclusions: The present studies indicate that self-regulatory processes may explain how intentions drive behavior. Future tests, using different health behaviors and experimental designs, could firmly establish whether self-regulatory processes complement current health behavior theories and should become routine targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • intention behavior gap
  • self regulation
  • control theory
  • treatment adherence
  • physical exercise
  • HIV-INFECTED PATIENTS
  • PLANNED BEHAVIOR
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY
  • TEMPORAL STABILITY
  • HEALTH
  • INTERVENTION
  • METAANALYSIS
  • MODERATORS
  • PSYCHOLOGY

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