Understanding action control: predicting physical activity intention-behavior profiles across 6 months in a Canadian sample

Health Psychol. 2006 May;25(3):292-9. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.3.292.


Intention is theorized as the proximal determinant of behavior in some theories of motivation, but the need to understand predictors of action control (i.e., translating an intention into behavior) is warranted to tailor physical activity intervention efforts. The purpose of this study was to examine constructs of the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) as predictors of physical activity intention-behavior profiles across 6 months in a large Canadian sample (N = 1,192). Results showed that 5 of the 8 possible intention-behavior profiles had a substantial number of participants: nonintenders, unsuccessful adopters, successful adopters, unsuccessful maintainers, and successful maintainers. Constructs of the TTM distinguished (p < .01) intention-behavior profiles. Self-efficacy and the behavioral processes of change were particularly good predictors of action control (p < .01), but disaggregated beliefs and processes identified specific intervention targets for successful physical activity adoption and maintenance. The results validate that both action planning and action control are important when understanding physical activity behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Ontario
  • Self Efficacy