Interaction effects in the theory of planned behaviour: studying cannabis use

Br J Soc Psychol. 1999 Jun:38 ( Pt 2):195-222. doi: 10.1348/014466699164121.


This study employed the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to investigate the factors underlying intentions and frequency of use of cannabis over a three-month period in a population of students (N = 249). In addition, several hypotheses in relation to the TPB were investigated. The TPB provided good predictions of both intentions (R2 = 0.653; attitude, injunctive norms and perceived behavioural control significant) and behaviour (R2 = 0.711; intentions significant). Other norm measures (descriptive and moral norms) explained additional variance in intentions (p < .01). In addition, habit strength and self-identity explained significant additional portions of the variance in intentions (p < .001), but not behaviour, over and above the TPB variables. Several interactions among these variables were also tested. Attitude moderated the impact of perceived behavioural control (PBC) on intentions (p < .001). Moral norms moderated the impact of attitudes on intentions (p < .001). Habit strength moderated the impact of self-identity on intentions (p < .001). PBC was found to moderate the impact of intentions on behaviour (p < .05). The findings are discussed in relation to how interaction effects further our understanding of the social processes by which variables are related in the TPB.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse / psychology*
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Behavior*