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Social Support and the Theory of Planned Behavior in the Exercise Domain

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Objective: To test the relative utility of social support and subjective norm for predicting exercise intention and stage within the theory of planned behavior. Methods: A population-based community sample of 1557 adults completed a telephone interview that assessed social support, subjective norm, attitude, perceived behavioral control, intention, and stage. Results: Social support was superior to subjective norm in predicting exercise intention and stage after controlling for the theory of planned behavior and demographic variables. Conclusion: If findings are replicated, the theory of planned behavior should consider replacing subjective norm with social support given the theory's currently stated boundary conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Alberta 2: Centre for Health Promotion Studies, Alberta Centre for Well-Being; Faculty of Physical Education, University of Alberta 3: School of Psychology and Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa 4: Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, CANADA

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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