Will is not enough: coping planning and action control as mediators in the prediction of fruit and vegetable intake

Cristina A. Godinho*, Maria João Alvarez, Maria Luísa Lima, Ralf Schwarzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Design In a longitudinal online survey, 203 participants completed assessments at baseline (Time 1), 1 week (Time 2), and 2 weeks later (Time 3).Objectives This study investigates the joint role of coping planning and action control as volitional predictors of changes in the daily consumption of fruit and vegetables.Methods Structural equation modelling was used to test a series of three nested models. In Model 1, only intention predicted behaviour; in Model 2, both coping planning and action control were tested as mediators between intention and behaviour; and Model 3 specified coping planning and action control as sequential mediators between intention and behaviour.Results Model 3 provided the best fit to the data. The mediating role of coping planning and action control between intention and fruit and vegetable intake was confirmed, whereby multiple mediation occurred in a sequential manner, with coping planning preceding action control.Conclusions For motivated individuals who are not yet following the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, coping planning and action control reflect a psychological mechanism that operates in changes in fruit and vegetable consumption. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Intention formation might not be enough to change complex health behaviours, such as dietary behaviours. Volitional factors - Such as action planning - Have shown to be important for the translation of intentions into behaviour, particularly for fruit and vegetable intake. Other volitional factors such as coping planning and action control have been less studied as potential mediators between intention and fruit and vegetable intake. What does this study add? This study provides further evidence on the psychological mechanisms of fruit and vegetable intake. Coping planning and action control are shown to act jointly in the prediction of fruit and vegetable intake. A double mediation was found, attesting the translation of intention into fruit and vegetable intake sequentially by coping planning and action control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-870
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Action control
  • Double mediation
  • Fruit and vegetable intake
  • Intention
  • Planning
  • Self-regulation

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