Self-efficacy Moderates the Mediation of Intentions Into Behavior via Plans

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Objective : To examine the putative moderating role of self-efficacy in the intention-planning-behavior relationship.

Methods : In N812 individuals, intentions (independent variable) were assessed at baseline, whereas action plans (mediator), self-efficacy (moderator), and physical activity (dependent variable) were measured again 4 weeks later. We examined a moderated-mediation model.

Results : Self-efficacy moderates the mediation process: the strength of the mediated effect increased along with levels of self-efficacy. The results remain valid after accounting for baseline physical activity.

Conclusions : For plans to mediate the intention-behavior relation, people must hold sufficiently high levels of self-efficacy. If they lack self-efficacy, planning may be in vain.

Keywords: action plans; intentions; moderated mediation; physical activity; self-efficacy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, Health Psychology, Freie Universitt Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Publication date: September 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • 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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