Author(s): Schwarzer R, Richert J, Kreausukon P, Remme L, Wiedemann AU,
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Abstract A first step towards the improvement of daily dietary behaviors is forming an intention to change one's nutrition. However, an intention by itself is not sufficient for successful action. Rather, to translate intentions into behavior, careful planning is recommended. Thus, planning constitutes a mediator between the intention and the behavior. However, if a person lacks self-efficacy, this mediation might fail. Previous research in Costa Rica and South Korea has identified perceived self-efficacy as a moderator of the intention-planning-behavior relationship. To examine further the moderator role of self-efficacy, two additional studies were designed in Thailand and Germany. Study 1 surveyed 1718 Thai university students in terms of a low-fat diet; Study 2 surveyed 1140 German internet users in terms of their fruit and vegetable consumption at two measurement points in time, 6 months apart. Intentions served as predictor, planning as mediator, self-efficacy as moderator, and behaviors as outcomes. First, intentions were translated into nutrition behaviors by planning. Second, self-efficacy moderated this mediation in both studies: The strength of the mediated effect increased along with levels of self-efficacy, even when accounting for baseline behaviors. For planning to mediate the intention-behavior relation, people must not harbor self-doubts. If they lack self-efficacy, intentions are not well translated into nutrition behavior through planning.
This article was published in Int J Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism