Predicting active school travel

the role of planned behavior and habit strength

Shemane Murtagh, David A. Rowe, Mark Elliott, David McMinn, Norah M. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Despite strong support for predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) substantial variance in both intention and behavior is unaccounted for by the model's predictors. The present study tested the extent to which habit strength augments the predictive validity of the TPB in relation to a currently under-researched behavior that has important health implications, namely children's active school travel.

Method
Participants (N = 126 children aged 8-9 years; 59 % males) were sampled from five elementary schools in the west of Scotland and completed questionnaire measures of all TPB constructs in relation to walking to school and both walking and car/bus use habit. Over the subsequent week, commutingsteps on school journeys were measured objectively using an accelerometer. Hierarchical multipleregressions were used to test the predictive utility of the TPB and habit strength in relation to bothintention and subsequent behavior.

Results
The TPB accounted for 41 % and 10 % of the variance in intention and objectively measuredbehavior, respectively. Together, walking habit and car/bus habit significantly increased the proportionof explained variance in both intention and behavior by 6 %. Perceived behavioral control and bothwalking and car/bus habit independently predicted intention. Intention and car/bus habit independentlypredicted behavior.

Conclusions
The TPB significantly predicts children's active school travel. However, habit strengthaugments the predictive validity of the model. The results indicate that school travel is controlled byboth intentional and habitual processes. In practice, interventions could usefully decrease the habitualuse of motorized transport for travel to school and increase children's intention to walk (via increases in perceived behavioral control and walking habit, and decreases in car/bus habit). Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for changing these antecedents of children's active school travel.
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Number of pages9
JournalThe International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume9
Early online date30 May 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Fingerprint

Habits
Motor Vehicles
Walking
Scotland
Economics
Health

Keywords

  • theory of planned behavior
  • habitat
  • active school travel
  • walking
  • children

Cite this

Predicting active school travel : the role of planned behavior and habit strength. / Murtagh, Shemane; Rowe, David A.; Elliott, Mark; McMinn, David; Nelson, Norah M.

In: The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol. 9, 65, 2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Murtagh, Shemane ; Rowe, David A. ; Elliott, Mark ; McMinn, David ; Nelson, Norah M. / Predicting active school travel : the role of planned behavior and habit strength. In: The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2012 ; Vol. 9.
@article{1e520a561e044542b1d583265ceb12fc,
title = "Predicting active school travel: the role of planned behavior and habit strength",
abstract = "BackgroundDespite strong support for predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) substantial variance in both intention and behavior is unaccounted for by the model's predictors. The present study tested the extent to which habit strength augments the predictive validity of the TPB in relation to a currently under-researched behavior that has important health implications, namely children's active school travel. MethodParticipants (N = 126 children aged 8-9 years; 59 {\%} males) were sampled from five elementary schools in the west of Scotland and completed questionnaire measures of all TPB constructs in relation to walking to school and both walking and car/bus use habit. Over the subsequent week, commutingsteps on school journeys were measured objectively using an accelerometer. Hierarchical multipleregressions were used to test the predictive utility of the TPB and habit strength in relation to bothintention and subsequent behavior. ResultsThe TPB accounted for 41 {\%} and 10 {\%} of the variance in intention and objectively measuredbehavior, respectively. Together, walking habit and car/bus habit significantly increased the proportionof explained variance in both intention and behavior by 6 {\%}. Perceived behavioral control and bothwalking and car/bus habit independently predicted intention. Intention and car/bus habit independentlypredicted behavior. ConclusionsThe TPB significantly predicts children's active school travel. However, habit strengthaugments the predictive validity of the model. The results indicate that school travel is controlled byboth intentional and habitual processes. In practice, interventions could usefully decrease the habitualuse of motorized transport for travel to school and increase children's intention to walk (via increases in perceived behavioral control and walking habit, and decreases in car/bus habit). Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for changing these antecedents of children's active school travel.",
keywords = "theory of planned behavior, habitat, active school travel, walking, children",
author = "Shemane Murtagh and Rowe, {David A.} and Mark Elliott and David McMinn and Nelson, {Norah M.}",
note = "PMID: 22647194 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3419676 Free PMC Article",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1186/1479-5868-9-65",
language = "English",
volume = "9",
journal = "The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity",
issn = "1479-5868",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Predicting active school travel

T2 - the role of planned behavior and habit strength

AU - Murtagh, Shemane

AU - Rowe, David A.

AU - Elliott, Mark

AU - McMinn, David

AU - Nelson, Norah M.

N1 - PMID: 22647194 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC3419676 Free PMC Article

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - BackgroundDespite strong support for predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) substantial variance in both intention and behavior is unaccounted for by the model's predictors. The present study tested the extent to which habit strength augments the predictive validity of the TPB in relation to a currently under-researched behavior that has important health implications, namely children's active school travel. MethodParticipants (N = 126 children aged 8-9 years; 59 % males) were sampled from five elementary schools in the west of Scotland and completed questionnaire measures of all TPB constructs in relation to walking to school and both walking and car/bus use habit. Over the subsequent week, commutingsteps on school journeys were measured objectively using an accelerometer. Hierarchical multipleregressions were used to test the predictive utility of the TPB and habit strength in relation to bothintention and subsequent behavior. ResultsThe TPB accounted for 41 % and 10 % of the variance in intention and objectively measuredbehavior, respectively. Together, walking habit and car/bus habit significantly increased the proportionof explained variance in both intention and behavior by 6 %. Perceived behavioral control and bothwalking and car/bus habit independently predicted intention. Intention and car/bus habit independentlypredicted behavior. ConclusionsThe TPB significantly predicts children's active school travel. However, habit strengthaugments the predictive validity of the model. The results indicate that school travel is controlled byboth intentional and habitual processes. In practice, interventions could usefully decrease the habitualuse of motorized transport for travel to school and increase children's intention to walk (via increases in perceived behavioral control and walking habit, and decreases in car/bus habit). Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for changing these antecedents of children's active school travel.

AB - BackgroundDespite strong support for predictive validity of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) substantial variance in both intention and behavior is unaccounted for by the model's predictors. The present study tested the extent to which habit strength augments the predictive validity of the TPB in relation to a currently under-researched behavior that has important health implications, namely children's active school travel. MethodParticipants (N = 126 children aged 8-9 years; 59 % males) were sampled from five elementary schools in the west of Scotland and completed questionnaire measures of all TPB constructs in relation to walking to school and both walking and car/bus use habit. Over the subsequent week, commutingsteps on school journeys were measured objectively using an accelerometer. Hierarchical multipleregressions were used to test the predictive utility of the TPB and habit strength in relation to bothintention and subsequent behavior. ResultsThe TPB accounted for 41 % and 10 % of the variance in intention and objectively measuredbehavior, respectively. Together, walking habit and car/bus habit significantly increased the proportionof explained variance in both intention and behavior by 6 %. Perceived behavioral control and bothwalking and car/bus habit independently predicted intention. Intention and car/bus habit independentlypredicted behavior. ConclusionsThe TPB significantly predicts children's active school travel. However, habit strengthaugments the predictive validity of the model. The results indicate that school travel is controlled byboth intentional and habitual processes. In practice, interventions could usefully decrease the habitualuse of motorized transport for travel to school and increase children's intention to walk (via increases in perceived behavioral control and walking habit, and decreases in car/bus habit). Further research is needed to identify effective strategies for changing these antecedents of children's active school travel.

KW - theory of planned behavior

KW - habitat

KW - active school travel

KW - walking

KW - children

U2 - 10.1186/1479-5868-9-65

DO - 10.1186/1479-5868-9-65

M3 - Article

VL - 9

JO - The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

JF - The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

SN - 1479-5868

M1 - 65

ER -