Social Cognitions and Past Behavior as Predictors of Behavioral Intentions Related to Cardiovascular Health

Authors

  • Kanayo Umeh

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Social Sciences Nottingham Trent University Nottingham, United Kingdom
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kanayo Umeh, Department of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU, United Kingdom. E-mail: kanayo. umeh@ntu. ac. uk
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Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kanayo Umeh, Department of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU, United Kingdom. E-mail: kanayo. umeh@ntu. ac. uk

Abstract

The present study assessed the usefulness of social cognitions shared by several health behavior models for predicting behavioral intentions regarding cardiovascular health, independent of past/current behavior. Over 800 adolescents were administered a cross-sectional survey measuring intentions (regarding cigarette use, fat consumption, physical exercise), social cognitions (severity, vulnerability, benefits, self-efficacy), and past/current behavior. Hierarchical regression analyses, controlling for past/current behavior, showed a varied predictive profile across behavioral intentions. Severity estimates predicted intended cigarette use and fat consumption, while perceived benefits predicted intended physical activity. However, self-efficacy predicted intentions consistently. Collectively, social cognitions contributed an additional 0.8%, 2.5%, and 11. 6%, of the variance in smoking, dietary fat, and exercise intentions, over and above past/current behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are considered.

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