Motives and health-related behaviours: An investigation of equipotentiality and equifinality

Trefor Aspden, David Ingledew, John Parkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


We investigated the phenomena of equipotentiality (one dispositional motive expressed through more than one behaviour) and equifinality (one behaviour serving more than one motive). In a cross-sectional survey, 244 young adults completed measures of sun-related behaviour and risky sexual behaviour, participatory motives for the behaviours and life goals (representing dispositional motives). Equipotentiality was demonstrated, in that power and diversity life goals each predicted more than one behaviour. Equifinality was demonstrated, in that sun exposure and risky sexual behaviour were each predicted by more than one life goal. Participatory motives mediated these relationships. Equipotentiality and equifinality need to be taken into account in health promotion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-479
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date26 Mar 2010
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2010


  • Equifinality
  • Equipotentiality
  • Health behaviour
  • Motives
  • Sexual risk taking
  • Sun-related behaviour


Dive into the research topics of 'Motives and health-related behaviours: An investigation of equipotentiality and equifinality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this