The effect of social comparison processes, athletic prototypes, perceived behavioural control and perceived threat on physical activity

Caltabiano, M.L., and Ghafari, N. (2011) The effect of social comparison processes, athletic prototypes, perceived behavioural control and perceived threat on physical activity. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 49 (2). pp. 44-52.

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Abstract

The present research linked social comparison processes to prototype models of risk behaviour in predicting physical activity, controlling for perceived health threat and perceived behavioural control. One hundred and forty respondents reported on physical activity, perceived control over physical activity, perceived personal threat resulting from in-activity, preferred level of social comparison, as well as psychological distancing from (perceived similarity), and favorability of active and in-active prototypes. Results indicated main rather than interactive effects of prototype assessments on physical activity. Prototype similarity rather than prototype favorability consistently predicted physical activity when the inactive prototype was being evaluated. Incorporating level of social comparison, those who made upward comparisons with others who are better at maintaining physical activity (a) perceived active prototypes more similar and inactive prototypes more dissimilar to themselves; (b) had greater perceptions of control over their ability to be active, and had lower perceived health threat. Perceived control consistently predicted physical activity across regression models. Importantly, upward comparisons in assessing physical activity were made by those who were more physically active (Beta = .46). The findings have implications for the use of comparison targets in health programs aimed at promoting physical activity.

Item ID: 18651
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: social comparison, prototypes, perceived behavioural control, perceived threat, physical activity
ISSN: 1463-5240
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 01:55
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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