The interaction of self-control and habit on intention of healthy eating behavior among students
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This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine individual and social factors that influence students at Aalesund University College in Norway to engage in healthy eating behavior. The individual factors included in this study were those already included in the Theory of Planned Behavior (attitude, perceived behavior and intention), as well as subjective norms. However, in order for this study to be relevant today, an attempt was made to also include two additional variables to see if they separately influenced students’ intention for healthy eating behavior, but also if the interaction between them did too. Participants in the study consisted of 117 students at Aalesund University College, all within the age range of 18 to 50 years of age. 54,2% of the respondents were female. The respondents were administered an online questionnaire and were asked to give demographic information (age, gender, level of income and level of education). Included in the questionnaire was also the measures of the Theory of Planned Behavior, Verplanken and Orbell’s (2003) Self-Report Habit Index, and Baumeister and Boone’s (2004) 10-Item Self- Scoring Self-Control Scale. Results provided evidence that among Norwegian students, subjective norms, attitudes, habits and the interaction between self-control and habit, significantly predict the intention to engage in a healthy eating behavior for the next three months. These findings support five out of the six stated hypothesis of this thesis. Perceived behavioral control did not show statistically significant results to predict the intention for healthy eating behavior. This study did provide some support to the addition of a habit-measure to the Theory of Planned behavior. That being said, these results can only speak as to the inclusion of this variable when research is focused on healthy eating among students similar to those in this study.