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Trait procrastination undermines outcome and efficacy expectancies for achieving health-related possible selves

Sirois, Fuschia M.



People often fail at following through with their health behaviour goals. How health goals are cognitively represented holds promise for understanding successful health behaviour change. Health-related possible selves (HPS) reflect cognitive representations of a future self that people may wish to achieve (hoped-for-HPS) or avoid (feared-HPS), that can promote health behaviour change. However, success depends on the strength of the efficacy and outcome expectancies for achieving/avoiding the HPS. Personality traits linked to poor self-regulation are often not considered when assessing the potential self-regulatory functions of HPS. The current study addressed this issue by examining the associations of trait procrastination with efficacy and outcome expectancies for hoped-for-HPS and feared-HPS, and health behaviour change intentions and motivations in a community sample (N = 191) intending to make healthy changes in the next 6 months. Trait procrastination was associated with weaker intentions and motivations for health behaviour change, and lower efficacy and outcome expectancies for hoped-for-HPS, but not feared-HPS. Bootstrapped multiple mediation analysis found significant indirect effects of procrastination on health behaviour intentions, through outcome, but not efficacy, expectancies for hoped-for-HPS. Results suggest that issues in imagining a hoped-for-HPS can be achieved are linked to weak intentions for health behaviour change for those with chronic self-regulation difficulties. Research into interventions that strengthen feeling connected to hoped-for-HPS is recommended.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 27, 2019
Publication Date Jun 27, 2019
Deposit Date Jul 4, 2022
Journal Current Psychology
Print ISSN 1046-1310
Electronic ISSN 1936-4733
Publisher Springer
Volume 40
Issue 8
Public URL
Additional Information This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (