Introduction: The psychological predictors of behaviour change may differ from the predictors of engaging in behaviour, and there is limited evidence on the associations between psychological constructs and changes in physical activity behaviours such as walking and cycling. This study examined whether an extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (eTPB) predicted change in walking and cycling for transport and recreation using a population-based sample of adults from three UK municipalities.
Methods: We used baseline (2010), 1-year (2011) and 2-year (2012) follow-up data from the iConnect study (www.iconnect.ac.uk). Six psychological constructs from the eTPB (attitude, perceived behavioural control, subjective norms, intention, habit and visibility) as well as weekly time spent (i) walking and (ii) cycling, each (i) for transport and (ii) for recreation, were self-reported at all time points. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine the associations between baseline eTPB constructs and (i) increases and (ii) decreases in the four behavioral outcomes, adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics.
Results: 1796 and 1465 participants provided 1- and 2-year follow-up data, respectively. Time spent walking (minutes per week) increased more than time spent cycling at both time points. All eTPB constructs except subjective norms were associated with changes in at least one of the four walking and cycling outcomes measured. However, these amounted to relatively few significant associations among the large number of associations tested. In general, eTPB constructs were more often associated with increases than with decreases in time spent walking and cycling.
Conclusions: This is one of the first known studies to examine psychological predictors of changes in walking and cycling for transport and recreation using an extended version of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (eTPB). Despite finding limited support for the model as a whole, the findings add to the evidence base in identifying specific constructs associated with positive changes in walking and cycling outcomes. As such, future interventions to promote walking and cycling through individually delivered approaches might consider fostering the development of positive attitudes, intentions and habits for these behaviours.
Bird, E., Panter, J., Baker, G., Jones, T., & Ogilvie, D. (2017, November). Predicting walking and cycling behaviour change using an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour. Paper presented at 13th Annual Meeting and 8th Conference of HEPA Europe, Zagreb, Croatia