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Contextual and Individual Predictors of Physical Activity: Interactions Between Environmental Factors and Health Cognitions


Schuz, B and Wurm, S and Ziegelmann, JP and Wolff, JK and Warner, LM and Schwarzer, R and Tesch-Romer, C, Contextual and Individual Predictors of Physical Activity: Interactions Between Environmental Factors and Health Cognitions, Health Psychology, 31, (6) pp. 714-723. ISSN 0278-6133 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 American Psychological Association

DOI: doi:10.1037/a0027596


Objective: Although health behavior theories assume a role of the context in health behavior selfregulation, this role is often weakly specified and rarely examined. The two studies in this article test whether properties of the environment (districts) affect if and how health-related cognitions are translated into physical activity. Methods: Multilevel modeling was used to examine the assumed cross-level interactions. Study 1 is a large-scale survey representative of the German adult population (N=6,201). Gross domestic product (GDP) on the level of administrative districts was used to indicate environmental opportunities and barriers. Study 2 examined cross-level interactions of proximal predictors of physical activity (intentions, action planning, and coping planning) in older adults with multiple illnesses (N= 309), a high-risk group for health deteriorations. Results: Study 1 showed that on the individual level, health attitudes (B=.11) and education (B=.71) were significantly associated with physical activity. GDP moderated the attitudes-behavior relation (b=.01), with higher attitude-behavior relations in districts with higher GDP. Study 2 finds that intention (B=.16), action planning (B=.17), and coping planning (B=.13) significantly predict activity. In addition, district-level GDP significantly moderated the relations between action planning and coping planning, but not intention, on physical activity. Conclusions: Results suggest that the effects of health attitudes and planning on physical activity are moderated by environmental factors. Districts with higher GDP provide better contextual opportunities for the enactment of concrete if-then plans for physical activity. This has implications for both theory and health promotion.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health behavior theory; environment; physical activity;self-regulation; multilevel modeling
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
ID Code:77934
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2012-06-04
Last Modified:2022-08-26
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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