With a little help from my goals: Integrating intergoal facilitation with the theory of planned behaviour to predict physical activity


Correspondence should be addressed to Justin Presseau, School of Psychology, William Guild Building, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3FX, UK (e-mail: j.presseau@abdn.ac.uk).


Objective. Integration of a multiple goal theory approach into the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to investigate how the perceived facilitating and conflicting relationships in multiple goal pursuit predict performance of a health-related behaviour.

Design. Prospective design with 8-week follow-up.

Methods. At baseline, perceived intergoal facilitation and intergoal conflict were measured using personal projects analysis supplemented with standard TPB measures for physical activity (PA). Self-reported PA was measured at follow-up 8 weeks later. N=137 participants completed measures at both time points (55.4% response rate at follow-up).

Results. Hierarchical regression showed that perceived intergoal facilitation, but not intergoal conflict, directly predicted PA beyond intention and perceived behavioural control (PBC), accounting for more than 4% of additional variance in PA. Intergoal facilitation had an indirect effect on intention through attitude and PBC, and intention partially mediated the effect of intergoal facilitation on behaviour.

Conclusion. The perceived facilitating effect of pursuing other personal goals predicts the performance of a health-related behaviour over and above single behaviour-focused social cognitions.