Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Myopia prevention, near work, and visual acuity of college students: integrating the theory of planned behavior and self-determination theory

  • Derwin King-Chung ChanEmail author
  • Ying-Ki Fung
  • Suxuan Xing
  • Martin S. Hagger


There has been little research examining the psychological antecedents of safety-oriented behavior aimed at reducing myopia risk. This study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) to understand the role of motivational and social-cognitive factors on individuals’ near-work behavior. Adopting a prospective design, undergraduate students (n = 107) completed an initial questionnaire based on SDT in week 1, a second questionnaire containing measures of TPB variables in week 2, and objective measures of reading distance and visual acuity in week 6. The data were analyzed by variance-based structural equation modeling. The results showed that perceived autonomy support and autonomous motivation from SDT significantly predicted attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control from the TPB. These social-cognitive factors were significantly associated with intention and intention significantly predicted reading distance. The relationships in the model held when controlling for visual acuity. In conclusion, the integrated model of SDT and the TPB may help explain myopia-preventive behaviors.


Autonomy support Motivation Intention Reading behavior Nearsightedness 



This research was supported by an International Research Scholarship awarded by the University of Nottingham to Derwin K.C. Chan. The authors are grateful to Dr. Andrew Astle from University of Nottingham for his professional advices on the use of optometric assessments in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derwin King-Chung Chan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ying-Ki Fung
    • 3
  • Suxuan Xing
    • 4
  • Martin S. Hagger
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation SciencesHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong
  4. 4.Chengdu Sport UniversityChengduChina

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