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The Role of Physical Activity in the Relation between Compensatory Health Beliefs and Alcohol Consumption among Young Adults.

Scheffels, J. (2016) The Role of Physical Activity in the Relation between Compensatory Health Beliefs and Alcohol Consumption among Young Adults.

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Abstract:Heavy alcohol drinking among young adults is a prevalent public health problem in most Western countries such as the Netherlands. Compensatory health beliefs (CHBs) may play an important role in the consumption of alcohol. CHBs are beliefs that negative effects of volitional unhealthy behaviours can be compensated for by engaging in another, volitional healthy behaviour. This may cause health problems in the long run, especially when continuously carrying out unhealthy behaviour and not engaging in the planned healthy behaviour. This study examined the relationship between PA-CHBs (compensation of alcohol consumption by performing physical activity) as well as other CHBs and alcohol consumption among young adults. It specifically focused on the role of physical activity and gender in this relationship. Past research indicated that CHBs are positively related to the consumption of alcohol, that physical activity may play a role in this relationship, and that there are gender differences in both physical activity and the consumption of alcohol. An online survey study was conducted during April and May 2016 (n = 209). It was found that PA-CHBs as well as total CHBs were significantly positively related to alcohol consumption (r = .34; r = .21), whereas other CHBs were only marginally significantly positively related (r = .13). There was a significant moderation effect of physical activity on the relationship between total CHBs and alcohol consumption. Thus, the effect of CHBs on alcohol consumption was stronger for people with high physical activity than for those with lower physical activity. This moderation effect was also found for PA-CHBs, but inversely for males and females. Whereas PA-CHBs predicted alcohol consumption when males were engaged in low and moderate physical activity, they were predictive when females were moderately and highly physically active. Thus, both physical activity and gender had an influence here. The current study revealed interesting insights with regard to the association between CHBs and the consumption of alcohol among young adults. It was the first to investigate the role of physical activity in this relationship. It also demonstrates the importance of using more specific CHB scales, tailored to the context that is examined, which might result in stronger relations. In order to reduce the consumption of alcohol among young adults, informing them about especially incorrect CHBs could serve as a starting point. Additionally, engagement in physical activity and related gender differences should be taken into account when dealing with this issue.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/69860
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