Modal salient belief and social cognitive variables of anti-doping behaviors in sport: Examining an extended model of the theory of planned behavior

King Chung Derwin CHAN, Sarah HARDCASTLE, James A. DIMMOCK, Vanessa LENTILLON-KAESTNER, Robert J. DONOVAN, Matthew BURGIN, Martin S. HAGGER

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Objectives: This study examined the modal salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs within the theory of planned behavior (TPB) in the context of anti-doping in sport. We tested the efficacy of four hypothesized expectancy-value models as predictors of the directly-measured social-cognitive components of the TPB toward doping avoidance: attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and intention.

Methods: After developing the belief-expectancy and belief-value of modal salient beliefs items based on a pilot belief-elicitation study of young elite athletes (N = 57, mean age = 18.02), 410 young athletes (mean age = 17.70) completed questionnaire items of the modal salient beliefs and direct measures of the social-cognitive components of doping avoidance. Variance-based structural equation modeling was used to examine the four proposed expectancy-value models.

Results: Belief-expectancies, belief-values, and the expectancy-belief multiplicative composites formed positive associations with their corresponding social cognitive variables. The model in which belief-expectancies were the sole predictors of the social cognitive provided the most parsimonious and reliable model to explain the relationship between modal salient beliefs and directly-measured social-cognitive variables for doping avoidance in sport.

Conclusion: Belief-expectancies including behavioral belief strength (e.g., "doping avoidance is likely to ease the worry of being caught doping"), normative belief strength ("my coach thinks that I should avoid doping") and control belief strength ("I expect I have power to 'say no' to doping") are the belief-based components that underpin direct measures of the social-cognitive variables from the TPB with respect to doping avoidance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-174
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue numberPart 2
Early online dateMar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015



Chan, D. K. C., Hardcastle, S., Dimmock, J. A., Lentillon-Kaestner, V., Donovan, R. J., Burgin, M., & Hagger, M. S. (2015). Modal salient belief and social cognitive variables of anti-doping behaviors in sport: Examining an extended model of the theory of planned behavior. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16(Part 2), 164-174. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.03.002


  • Doping avoidance
  • Expectancy-value muddle
  • Normative belief strength
  • Outcome evaluation
  • Motivation to comply
  • Control belief power