Theory of planned behaviour and healthy sleep of college students

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Abstract

Objective:

Healthy sleep is an important factor in predicting longevity, physical health, as well as cognitive functioning. This study examined the psychosocial factors contributing to healthy sleep intention and practice in college students, under the framework of the theory of planned behaviour.

Method:

This study used a convenience sampling at a public university in Macao, China, where students voluntarily filled out questionnaires. Data were obtained from 362 college students, aged 18–25 years, with no serious sleep or emotional disturbances. Path analysis was used to investigate whether the data collected from the sample fit an extended model of the theory of planned behaviour including two additional variables, namely parental nurturance and perceived invulnerability.

Results:

Self-reported healthy sleep patterns were positively associated with behavioural intention and perceived behavioural control. As hypothesised, positive direct effects of attitude, descriptive norm, injunctive norm, and perceived behavioural control on intention were also observed. The resultant path model suggested that parental nurturance and perceived invulnerability exerted direct effects only on attitude, norms, and perceived behavioural control.

Conclusion:

The results of our path analysis generally supported the application of the theory of planned behaviour to understanding healthy sleep among college students. University-based health campaigns, which modify attitude, descriptive norm, injunctive norm, and perceived behavioural control, should be effective for promoting their intention and practice of healthy sleep.

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