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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Autonomous motivation was responsible for 72.19, 65.52, and 42.08 % of the total explained variance of attitude, subjective norm, and PBC, respectively.

  2. 2.

    Attitude, subjective norm, and PBC were responsible for explaining 13.87, 49.05, and 15.73 %, respectively, of the total variance of intention.

  3. 3.

    Intention was responsible for 45.49 % of the total explained variance of reading distance.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Derwin King-Chung Chan.

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Chan, D.K., Fung, Y., Xing, S. et al. Myopia prevention, near work, and visual acuity of college students: integrating the theory of planned behavior and self-determination theory. J Behav Med 37, 369–380 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-013-9494-9

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Keywords

  • Autonomy support
  • Motivation
  • Intention
  • Reading behavior
  • Nearsightedness