Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 129–140

Investigating the Latent Structure of the Theory of Planned Behavior and its Effectiveness in Explaining Intentions to Participate in Counseling among a Sample of Police Officers


  • Philip Hyland
    • School of PsychologyUniversity of Ulster
    • School of PsychologyUniversity of Ulster
  • Mark Shevlin
    • School of PsychologyUniversity of Ulster
  • Gary Adamson
    • School of PsychologyUniversity of Ulster

DOI: 10.1007/s11896-012-9103-9

Cite this article as:
Hyland, P., Boduszek, D., Shevlin, M. et al. J Police Crim Psych (2012) 27: 129. doi:10.1007/s11896-012-9103-9


Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to compare two alternative models of Ajzen’s (Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 50:179–211, 1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB). The efficacy of the TPB to predict intentions to participate in counseling among a sample (N = 259) of Irish police officers was investigated using structural equation modelling and based upon responses to a fictitious scenario. The police profession is a highly stressful occupation with many officers suffering from a variety of stress related psychological maladies that could be alleviated with effective psychotherapy. Understanding police officers intentions to participate in psychological counseling is an important endeavour. Results indicated that a modified version of the TPB in which the Perceived Behavioral Control factor was represented by two distinct latent control factors demonstrated superior model fit compared to Ajzen’s original model. Structural equation modelling results indicated that this modified version of the TPB was an effective model in the prediction of counseling seeking intentions explaining 92.6 % of variance in behavioural intentions. Self-efficacy (internal control) was found to be most strongly associated with intentions. Theoretical implications and future research potentials are discussed in light of current findings.


Police officersCounsellingTheory of planned behaviourStructural equation modeling

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012