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Objectives

This study applies three latent interaction models in the theory of planned behaviour (TPB; Ajzen, 1988, Attitudes, personality, and behavior. Homewood, IL: Dorsey Press; Ajzen, 1991, Organ. Behav. Hum. Decis. Process., 50, 179) to quitting smoking: (1) attitude × perceived behavioural control on intention; (2) subjective norms (SN) × attitude on intention; and (3) perceived behavioural control × intention on quitting behaviour.

Methods

The data derive from a longitudinal Internet survey of 939 smokers aged 15–74 over a period of 4 months. Latent interaction effects were estimated using the double-mean-centred unconstrained approach (Lin et al., 2010, Struct. Equ. Modeling, 17, 374) in LISREL.

Results

Attitude × SN and attitude × perceived behavioural control both showed a significant interaction effect on intention. No significant interaction effect was found for perceived behavioural control × intention on quitting.

Conclusions

The latent interaction approach is a useful method for investigating specific conditions between TPB components in the context of quitting behaviour. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Statement of contribution

What is already known about the subject? Although research on quitting smoking in the context of TPB is gradually growing, the exploration of latent interaction effects of TPB variables on quitting intentions and subsequent quitting behaviour is scarce. The double-mean-centred unconstrained approach is proposed as a new and user-friendly alternative to estimate interaction effects. This study investigated three latent interaction effects in TPB, as applied to quitting smoking using a double-mean-centred unconstrained approach.

What does this study add?

  • This study provides evidence for an interaction effect for attitude × subjective norm on intention and attitude × perceived behavioural control on intention.

  • No significant interaction effect was found for perceived behavioural control × intention on quitting behaviour.

  • This study latent variable approach used to investigate interaction effects in the TPB was shown to be valuable.