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The Role of Habit and Perceived Control on Health Behavior among Pregnant Women

Mullan, Barbara and Henderson, Joanna and Kothe, Emily and Allom, Vanessa and Orbell, Sheina and Hamilton, Kyra (2016) 'The Role of Habit and Perceived Control on Health Behavior among Pregnant Women.' American Journal of Health Behavior, 40 (3). 291 - 301. ISSN 0147-0353

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Abstract

Objective: Many pregnant women do not adhere to physical activity and dietary recommendations. Research investigating what psychological processes might predict physical activity and healthy eating (fruit and vegetable consumption) during pregnancy is scant. We explored the role of intention, habit, and perceived behavioral control as predictors of physical activity and healthy eating. Methods: Pregnant women (N = 195, Mage = 30.17, SDage = 4.46) completed questionnaires at 2 time points. At Time 1, participants completed measures of intention, habit, and perceived behavioral control. At Time 2, participants reported on their behavior (physical activity and healthy eating) within the intervening week. Regression analysis determined whether Time 1 variables predicted behavior at Time 2. Interaction terms also were tested. Results: Final regression models indicated that only intention and habit explained significant variance in physical activity, whereas habit and the interaction between intention and habit explained significant variance in healthy eating. Simple slopes analysis indicated that the relationship between intention and healthy eating behavior was only significant at high levels of habit. Conclusions: Findings highlight the influence of habit on behavior and suggest that automaticity interventions may be useful in changing health behaviors during pregnancy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 19:58
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16245

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