Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 757–770 | Cite as

Dismantling the theory of planned behavior: evaluating the relative effectiveness of attempts to uniquely change attitudes, norms, and perceived behavioral control

  • Erika A. MontanaroEmail author
  • Trace S. Kershaw
  • Angela D. Bryan


The current study compares the effectiveness of interventions that attempted to uniquely influence hypothesized determinants of behavior in the Theory of Planned Behavior versus some optimal combination of constructs (three constructs vs. four) to increase condom use among intentions and behavior college students. 317 participants (Mage = 19.31; SDage = 1.31; 53.3% female; 74.1% Caucasian) were randomly assigned to one of seven computer-based interventions. Interventions were designed using the Theory of Planned Behavior as the guiding theoretical framework. 196 (61.8%) completed behavioral follow-up assessments 3-month later. We found that the four construct intervention was marginally better at changing intentions (estimate = − .06, SE = .03, p = .06), but the single construct interventions were more strongly related to risky sexual behavior at follow-up (estimate = .04, SE = .02, p = .05). This study suggests that these constructs may work together synergistically to produce change ( Number NCT# 02855489).


Condom use HIV/STD Intervention Theory of planned behavior Dismantling study design 



Dr. Erika Montanaro was supported by T32MH020031 from the National Institute of Mental Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Erika A. Montanaro, Trace S. Kershaw, Angela D. Bryan declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North Carolina CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.Yale UniveristyNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.University of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA

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