Objective: Predictors of action control profiles are useful targets for health behaviour change interventions, but action control research has not focused on fruit consumption and has not yet included need for affect and need for cognition, despite the demonstrated usefulness of these variables in a broad range of research. The role of these variables for fruit consumption action control was explored.
Design: Prospective data collected with self-administered questionnaires.
Method: Undergraduate students (n=109; mean age=22.63 (SD=2.67), 78% female) who were recruited using announcements at the university completed measures of need for affect and cognition, and theory of planned behaviour items that were used as independent variables. Self-reported fruit consumption one month later was the dependent variable. Data were analysed using bivariate correlations, discriminant function analysis and analysis of variance.
Results: Affective attitude, cognitive attitude and perceived behavioural control (PBC) were significantly correlated with the discriminant function. Successful intenders had significantly higher scores on PBC than unsuccessful intenders; intenders had significantly higher scores on attitude measures and PBC. Additionally, high-affect unsuccessful intenders had higher scores on affective attitudes measures than high- affect unsuccessful nonintenders.
Conclusion: Cognitive attitude, affective attitude, and PBC are relevant intervention targets to increase motivation to consume sufficient fruits. Further, the promotion of controllability of fruit consumption should minimize the intention-fruit consumption gap. These effects occur relatively independent of need for affect and cognition.
Keywords: action control, fruit consumption, Theory of Planned Behaviour, intention-behaviour gap, students