Impact of Goal Priority and Goal Conflict on the Intention-Health-Behavior Relationship: Tests on Physical Activity and Other Health Behaviors

Mark T. Conner, Charles Abraham, Andrew Prestwich, Russell Hutter, Jennifer Hallam, Bianca Sykes-Muskett, Ben Morris, Robert Hurling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)
    236 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Objectives: Goal intentions are the key proximal determinant of behavior in a number of key models applied to predicting health behavior. However, relatively little previous research has examined how characteristics of goals moderate the intention-health behavior relations. The present research examined the effects of goal priority and goal conflict as moderators of the intention-health behavior relationship. Methods: The main outcome measures were self-reported performance of physical activity (Studies 1, 2 and 3) and other health behaviors (Study 4), and objectively measured physical activity (Study 3). Studies 1 and 4 used prospective correlational designs to predict later behavior from earlier cognitions. Studies 2 and 3 were experimental studies manipulating goal priority and goal conflict. Studies 1 and 2 used between-subjects designs while Studies 3 and 4 used within-subjects designs. Results: Goal priority significantly moderated the intention-health behavior relationship for physical activity (Study 1) and a range of protective and risk health behaviors (Study 4). Manipulations of goal priority significantly increased the intention-physical activity relationship when self-reported (Study 2) and objectively-measured (Study 3). In contrast, inconsistent effects were observed for goal conflict as an intention-behavior moderator. Conclusions: When goal priority is high then intentions are strong predictors of health behaviors. Further studies testing manipulations of goal conflict and in particular goal priority in combination with goal intentions are required to confirm their value as a means to change health behavior.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1017-1026
    JournalHealth Psychology
    Volume35
    Issue number9
    Early online date16 May 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Keywords

    • Intentions
    • Goal priority
    • Goal conflict
    • Intention-behavior relationship
    • Health behavior

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Goal Priority and Goal Conflict on the Intention-Health-Behavior Relationship: Tests on Physical Activity and Other Health Behaviors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this