In schizophrenia, low motivation may play a role in the initiation and frequency of functional behaviors. Several reviews support the efficacy of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to predict engagement in various behaviors, but little research has utilized the TPB to explain functional behavior in schizophrenia. This study tested the TPB for predicting prospective engagement in functional behaviors in a sample of 64 individuals with schizophrenia. Participants completed questionnaires assessing their attitudes toward, social norms regarding, perceived behavioral control over, and intention to engage in various functional behaviors during the upcoming week. Follow-up questionnaires assessed engagement in functional behaviors. Zero-order correlations indicated that positive attitudes, social norms, and perceived behavioral control were positively correlated with intentions to engage in functional behaviors. In turn, intentions were positively correlated with engagement in functional behaviors. Using path analysis, social norms and control were significantly related to intentions, which in turn predicted greater engagement in functional behaviors. Results suggest that patients with schizophrenia make reasoned decisions for or against engaging in functional behaviors. Skills training interventions that also target components of the TPB may be effective for increasing motivation to engage in learned behaviors.
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