Spontaneous and experimentally induced action planning and coping planning for physical activity: A meta-analysis

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Abstract

Objectives:

The main objective of this review was to provide summary effects for spontaneous and experimentally induced action planning (AP) and coping planning (CP) for physical activity (PA). These summary effects were then used to test key theoretical postulates using meta-analytic path analysis, and examine possible boundary conditions via moderation analyses.

Design:

This review employed a quantitative research synthesis design.

Method:

Using the method of Lipsey and Wilson (2001), fixed- and random-effects meta-analysis was performed on over 150 effect sizes from 23 correlational and 21 experimental studies. The method of Viswesvaran and Ones (1995) was used to test two mediation models using the correlational meta-analytic data. Group comparisons and meta-regression were used to test moderation.

Results:

Among the correlational studies, findings indicated a medium-to-large summary effect of spontaneous AP (φ; = .41) and CP (φ = .38) on PA. Among the experimental studies, results revealed a small-to-medium summary effect (φ = .24) when comparing all experimental conditions versus all controls and a medium-to-large summary effect (φ = .37) when comparing purely planning conditions versus neutral controls. Support was found for AP and CP as partial mediators in the relation between intention and PA. Numerous significant moderators emerged.

Conclusion:

This review offers the first meta-analytic estimates of both spontaneous and experimentally induced AP and CP for PA, while supporting the role of both spontaneous AP and CP as mediators in both a multiple and sequential mediation model. Relevant moderators will serve to inform future research in this area.

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