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The interplay between conscious and automatic self-regulation and adolescents’ physical activity: the role of planning, intentions, and lack of awareness

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Stephan Dombrowski


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This study investigated the interplay between conscious and automatic self-regulatory variables and adolescents’ physical activity. It was hypothesised that intention, planning, and lack of awareness would predict adolescents’ behaviour. One hundred and fifty-five individuals (aged 13 to 17 years) completed questionnaires in two waves (with a time gap of 10 days). The results of cross-lagged panel analysis suggested that both past behaviour and planning predicted physical activity at follow-up, whereas physical activity predicted intention. Although lack of awareness, a facet of automatic processes, was negatively related to physical activity, the nested model comparison analysis indicated that the relation between lack of awareness and physical activity might be negligible. Among the self-regulatory processes, planning was found to be the most important predictor of adolescents’ physical activity, although past behaviour remained the strongest predictor of future behaviour.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dombrowski SU; Luszczynska A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Psychology

Year: 2008

Volume: 58

Issue: 2

Pages: 257-273

ISSN (print): 0269-994X

ISSN (electronic): 1464-0597

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-0597.2008.00335.x


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