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The Utility of a Protection Motivation Theory Framework for Understanding Sedentary Behavior
Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
  • Tiffany S. Wong, Western University
  • Anca Gaston, Western University
  • Stefanie DeJesus, Western University
  • Harry Prapavessis, Western University
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Multilevel determinants of sedentary behavior (SB), including constructs couched within evidence-based psychological frameworks, can contribute to more efficacious interventions designed to decrease sitting time. This study aimed to: (1) examine the factor structure and composition of sedentary-derived protection motivation theory (PMT) constructs and (2) determine the utility of these constructs in predicting general and leisure sedentary goal intention (GI), implementation intention (II), and self-reported SB. Sedentary-derived PMT (perceived severity, PS; perceived vulnerability, PV; response efficacy, RE; self-efficacy, SE), GI, and II constructs, and a modified SB questionnaire were completed by undergraduate students (n = 596). SE was broken into three psychological (productive, focused, tired), and two situational (studying, leisure) constructs to capture the main barriers to reducing sitting time. After completing socio-demographics and the PMT items, participants were randomized to complete general or leisure GI and II. Based on model assignment, they completed either the general or leisure SB questionnaire one week later. Irrespective of model, exploratory followed by confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the PMT items grouped into eight coherent and interpretable factors consistent with the theory's threat and coping appraisal tenets: PV, PS, RE, and five scheduling SE constructs (tired, productive/focused, TV/video games/computer, studying at home, studying in library/Wi-Fi area). Using linear regression, general and leisure models predicted 5% and 1% of the variance in GI, 10% and 16% of the variance in II, and 3% and 1% of the variance in SB, respectively. Variables that made unique and significant contributions were: RE (general) and SE (leisure) for goal intention; PV and RE (general), PV, RE, and SE (leisure) for implementation intention; and only goal intention (leisure) for SB. Support now exists for the tenability of an eight-factor PMT sedentary model and its utility in predicting II and to a lesser extent GI and behavior.


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Citation Information
Tiffany S. Wong, Anca Gaston, Stefanie DeJesus and Harry Prapavessis. "The Utility of a Protection Motivation Theory Framework for Understanding Sedentary Behavior" Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 29 - 48
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