Meta-Analysis of the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to Understanding Health Behaviors

Rosemary McEachan, Natalie Taylor, Reema Harrison, Rebecca Lawton, Peter Gardner, Mark Conner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

415 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Reasoned action approach (RAA) includes subcomponents of attitude (experiential/instrumental), perceived norm (injunctive/descriptive), and perceived behavioral control (capacity/autonomy) to predict intention and behavior. Purpose: To provide a meta-analysis of the RAA for health behaviors focusing on comparing the pairs of RAA subcomponents and differences between health protection and health-risk behaviors. Methods: The present research reports a meta-analysis of correlational tests of RAA subcomponents, examination of moderators, and combined effects of subcomponents on intention and behavior. Regressions were used to predict intention and behavior based on data from studies measuring all variables. Results: Capacity and experiential attitude had large, and other constructs had small-medium-sized correlations with intention; all constructs except autonomy were significant independent predictors of intention in regressions. Intention, capacity, and experiential attitude had medium-large, and other constructs had small-medium-sized correlations with behavior; intention, capacity, experiential attitude, and descriptive norm were significant independent predictors of behavior in regressions. Conclusions: The RAA subcomponents have utility in predicting and understanding health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-612
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • reasoned action approach
  • theory of planned behavior
  • meta-analysis
  • health behavior
  • protection behaviors
  • risk behaviors


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