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Clarifying the Contribution of Subjective Norm to Predicting Leisure-Time Exercise

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Objective: To clarify the contribution of subjective norm to exercise intention and behavior by considering the influence of descriptive as well as injunctive social norms related to family and friends. Methods: A sample of 530 college students completed a questionnaire that assessed descriptive and injunctive social norms related to family and to friends, perceived behavioral control, attitude, intention, and leisure-time exercise. Results: Friend descriptive social norm was a significant predictor of both intention (p<.05) and leisure-time exercise (p<.001). Conclusion: Descriptive norms should be incorporated into tests of the theory of planned behavior in the exercise domain.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. 2: Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, TX.

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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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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