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Neuroticism, conscientiousness and fruit consumption: Exploring mediator and moderator effects in the theory of planned behaviour

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Integrating the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) with the five-factor model (FFM) of personality may provide insight into the cognitive and motivational mechanisms linking personality with health behaviour, but this issue has received very little attention regarding fruit consumption. Mediator effects of TPB concepts in the personality-fruit consumption link, as well as moderator effects of personality in the intention-fruit consumption link, were therefore investigated in the present study. Data on fruit consumption, TPB concepts and FFM dimensions were gathered among 405 respondents in face-to-face interviews using questionnaires. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the mediator and moderator effects. The direct effect of conscientiousness on fruit consumption was mediated by attitude and perceived behavioural control, while no direct effect of neuroticism on fruit consumption was found. Neuroticism moderated the intention-fruit consumption relationship with the weakest relationship for those scoring high on neuroticism. Conscientiousness did not moderate the intention-fruit consumption relationship. TPB variables are mediators in the conscientiousness-fruit consumption link. Whether fruit consumption is intentional may be dependent upon the personality dimension neuroticism. Personality dimensions may be a useful addition to the TPB and should be considered in health behaviour change interventions.
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Keywords: five-factor model; fruit consumption; interaction; mediation; personality; theory of planned behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Communication Science, Amsterdam School of Communications Research ASCoR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,Department of Public Health Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2: Department of Public Health Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands,EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: Department of Public Health Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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