Combining self-affirmation with implementation intentions to promote fruit and vegetable consumption

Harris, Peter, Brearley, Irina, Sheeran, Paschal, Barker, Margo, Klein, William M P, Creswell, J David, Levine, John M and Bond, Rod (2014) Combining self-affirmation with implementation intentions to promote fruit and vegetable consumption. Health Psychology, 33 (7). pp. 729-36. ISSN 0278-6133

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The current study tested whether self-affirmation in the context of a threatening health message helps promote a health behavior (fruit and vegetable consumption) over a 3-month period, and whether adding a manipulation to support the translation of intentions into behavior (an implementation intentions induction) enhances the impact of self-affirmation.

METHODS

Participants (N = 332, 71% women) reported their baseline consumption and were randomly assigned to condition in a 2 (self-affirmation: yes, no) × 2 (implementation intentions: formed, not formed) between-subjects factorial design. They completed a self-affirmation/control task and then read a health communication advising eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Next participants reported intentions for behavior change, after which they formed/did not form relevant implementation intentions. Consumption was measured again 7 days and 3 months postintervention.

RESULTS

Self-affirmed (vs. nonaffirmed) participants reported eating more fruit and vegetables at both follow-ups. Forming (vs. not forming) implementation intentions was also beneficial for consumption. At 7 days, there was also a significant self-affirmation × implementation intentions interaction: consumption was highest when self-affirmed participants also formed implementation intentions.

CONCLUSIONS

The present study offers new evidence concerning the impact and durability of self-affirmation on health behaviors and the role of implementation intentions in enhancing the impact of self-affirmation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 07:59
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:06
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/55377

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