Beyond intentional processes: The role of action and coping planning in explaining exercise behaviour among adolescents

Markus Gerber, Clifford Mallett, Uwe Pühse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which action planning, coping planning and the interaction with past behaviour explain additional variance over and above that predicted by behavioural intention in a sample of 210 Swiss high school students (160 boys, 150 girls, mean age = 17.43 years). Participants filled in a questionnaire designed to assess exercise intention, action planning coping planning, past and current exercise behaviour at baseline and after three months. The findings show that adolescents' exercise participation was predominantly regulated by exercise intention. Stronger exercise intentions were found among adolescents with positive outcome expectancies, high self-efficacy and self-determination scores. Spontaneous implementation intentions had no substantial influence on exercise participation. No significant interactions occurred between intention × Action Planning and Intention × Coping Planning. The effects of exercise intentions were stronger among students with high baseline exercise levels. In summary, action and coping planning explained little variance in adolescents' exercise behaviour. More research is warranted to distinguish between organized and non-organized sport participation and to find out whether implementation intentions can be manipulated experimentally in this age group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • behavioural habits
  • coping planning
  • exercise
  • goal intention
  • implementation intention
  • motivation
  • volition


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