Using a combined motivational and volitional intervention to promote exercise and healthy dietary behaviour among undergraduates.

Zhang (2012)
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This study tested the impact of combining a motivational intervention based on protection motivation theory (PMT, Rogers, 1983 [18]) plus a volitional intervention based on action planning and coping planning, as a way to promote the prevention of type 2 diabetes among UK undergraduates. Eighty-four participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or one of three experimental conditions: motivational intervention (PMT), volitional intervention (APCP), or combined motivational and volitional intervention (PMT&APCP). PMT variables, dietary and exercise behaviours were measured at three time-points over a four-week period. The motivational intervention significantly changed PMT variables. The combined motivational and volitional intervention significantly decreased fat intake and increased the frequency of exercise relative to all other groups, and significantly increased the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed relative to control and volitional intervention groups. These results suggest that motivational intervention is effective at changing cognitions but changing behaviour requires an intervention based on both motivation and volition.