Interpersonal pursuit of intrapersonal health goals: Social cognitive–motivational mechanisms by which social support promotes self-regulatory success

Matthew T. Riccio, Patrick E. Shrout, Emily Balcetis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The short- and long-term health benefits of both regular physical activity and healthy eating are well established for persons of all ages. Despite publicity about these benefits and publications of activity and healthy-eating guidelines, many people struggle with implementing exercise and eating goals. With this work, we propose multiple social cognitive–motivational mechanisms by which social support can promote self-regulatory success in these domains. Specifically, we outline how interpersonal processes can improve both action planning and action control across the pre-action, action, and post-action phases of physical activity and healthy-eating goal pursuit. We suggest that close relationships offer a promising avenue for improving and promoting individual-level health behavior. We also discuss limitations, costs, and potential future interventions relating to health, social support, and interpersonal processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12495
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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