ISBNPA Webinar SIG Motivation and Behavior Change: Moving from adoption to sustainable physical activity patterns: Application of the multi-process action control (M-PAC) framework

Start Date: 03/25/2020
End Date: 03/25/2020
Place: Online webinar
Organization: SIG Motivation and Behavior Change


March 25, 2020, 20:00 GMT (please confirm the schedule in your time zone)


Link to register:



Moving from adoption to sustainable physical activity patterns: Application of the multi-process action control (M-PAC) framework



Ryan Rhodes, Professor School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, Director of the Behavioral Medicine Laboratory, and Associate Director of the Institute on Aging and Lifelong Health at the University of Victoria, Canada. 



Karin Weman, PhD Halmstad University Sweden 

António Palmeira, Associate Professor Universidade Lusófona, Portugal 


SIG Chair:

Marta Marques PhD; Marie-Curie Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin



Theories in the social cognitive tradition have shown that many forms of regular physical activity (PA) are goal-directed, yet the gap between intention and behavior is considerable, and these theories generally have limited explanation for intention-behavior discordance. Multi-process action control (M-PAC) was created as an organizing schematic to describe key constructs proposed to bridge the intention-behavior relationship across the initial adoption to ongoing sustainability of PA. In this Webinar, I overview the theoretical lens behind M-PAC, suggesting that intention-behavior discordance is likely occurring from both strategic barriers in goal pursuit and automatic tendencies that determine why some people fail to follow-through with PA intentions regularly. I then overview critical reflective (affective judgments, opportunity), regulatory (e.g., plans, monitoring, building a supportive social and physical environment), and eventual reflexive (habit, identity) constructs in M-PAC that represent mechanisms of action to counter these strategic barriers and automatic tendencies. Because M-PAC was ultimately designed for interventions and applied research as a meta-theory, the subsequent recommended behavior change techniques for each construct are outlined. Finally, the efficacy of the M-PAC framework is reviewed with evidence collected thus far, which includes 16 observational studies and eight experimental trials. This research is primarily of high quality that spans different PA  populations (e.g., cancer survivors, dog walking, families, children with disabilities, middle-aged adults, young adults). Results from the observational studies generally support the proposed reflective, regulatory, and reflexive constructs of M-PAC as independent predictors of intention-behavior relations. Experimental application of M-PAC is preliminary but early evidence is also generally supportive that modifications to M-PAC constructs collectively and independently change PA. Overall, contemporary research on M-PAC demonstrates that its constructs may act as a bridge of the intention-behavior gap and, thus, augment traditional social cognitive approaches. Still, the M-PAC framework requires more testing of its temporal relationship among key constructs from adoption to sustainability of PA. A higher volume of studies in different contexts is also needed to validate the initial findings, and modification (either addition and/or subtraction) of core constructs may be prudent as more evidence becomes available. 

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