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Goal conflict and goal facilitation as predictors of daily accelerometer-assessed physical activity

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Justin Presseau, Dr Jill Francis, Professor Falko Sniehotta



Objective: To test whether perceptions of conflicting and facilitating personal goals, and actual daily time spent in their pursuit, predict accelerometer-assessed physical activity (PA). Methods: A prospective multi-level design with a daily accelerometer-based assessment of PA over one week was used (N=106). Participants’ personal goals were elicited using personal projects analysis. Participants then rated their personal goals in terms of how they were perceived to facilitate and conflict with their regular PA. Items assessing PA-specific intention and perceived behavioral control (PBC) were also embedded within the baseline measures. For the subsequent seven consecutive days, participants completed a daily diary based on the day reconstruction method, indicating the time spent in daily episodes involving each of their personal goals, and wore an RT3 tri-axial accelerometer. The main outcome was accelerometer-assessed daily time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Results: Random intercept multilevel models indicated that perceived goal facilitation, but not perceived goal conflict, predicted MVPA over and above intention and PBC. Daily time pursuing conflicting goals negatively predicted MVPA when subsequently added to the model and in so doing, attenuated the association between perceived goal facilitation and MVPA. Conclusion: Perceived goal facilitation predicts objectively measured PA over and above intention and PBC, but daily time spent in pursuit of conflicting personal goals provides a better account of how alternative goals relate to engaging in regular PA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Presseau J, Tait RI, Johnston DW, Francis JJ, Sniehotta FF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Psychology

Year: 2013

Volume: 32

Issue: 12

Pages: 1179-1187

Print publication date: 13/08/2012

Date deposited: 28/08/2012

ISSN (print): 0278-6133

ISSN (electronic): 1930-7810

Publisher: American Psychological Association


DOI: 10.1037/a0029430


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