An intervention encouraging planned self-regulation and goal setting in drivers across the lifespan:testing an extended theory of planned behaviour

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Gwyther, Holly ; Holland, Carol (2015)

Previous work has demonstrated that planning behaviours may be more adaptive than avoidance strategies in driving self-regulation, but ways of encouraging planning have not been investigated. The efficacy of an extended theory of planned behaviour (TPB) plus implementation intention based intervention to promote planning self-regulation in drivers across the lifespan was tested. An age stratified group of participants (N=81, aged 18-83 years) was randomly assigned to an experimental or control condition. The intervention prompted specific goal setting with action planning and barrier identification. Goal setting was carried out using an agreed behavioural contract. Baseline and follow-up measures of TPB variables, self-reported, driving self-regulation behaviours (avoidance and planning) and mobility goal achievements were collected using postal questionnaires. Like many previous efforts to change planned behaviour by changing its predictors using models of planned behaviour such as the TPB, results showed that the intervention did not significantly change any of the model components. However, more than 90% of participants achieved their primary driving goal, and self-regulation planning as measured on a self-regulation inventory was marginally improved. The study demonstrates the role of pre-decisional, or motivational components as contrasted with post-decisional goal enactment, and offers promise for the role of self-regulation planning and implementation intentions in assisting drivers in achieving their mobility goals and promoting safer driving across the lifespan, even in the context of unchanging beliefs such as perceived risk or driver anxiety.
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