Conscientiousness and fruit and vegetable consumption: exploring behavioural intention as a mediator

Antonia E. Wilson, Daryl B. Oconnor, Rebecca Lawton, Patrick L. Hill, Brent W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clear associations have emerged between conscientiousness and health behaviours, such that higher levels of conscientiousness are predictive of beneficial health behaviours. This study investigated the conscientiousness-fruit and vegetable consumption relationship and whether behavioural intention mediated this relationship. A large sample of adults (N = 2136) completed an online battery of questionnaires measuring conscientiousness, behavioural intentions to consume fruit and vegetables, together with self-reported behaviour. Correlation analysis revealed that conscientiousness and each of its facets were positively associated with behavioural intention and self-reported behaviour. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that after controlling for age, gender and education, total conscientiousness, and the facets of responsibility, industriousness, order and virtue predicted self-reported behaviour. Further analysis revealed that in line with the Theory of Planned Behaviour, behavioural intention fully mediated the conscientiousness-fruit and vegetable behaviour relationship. In conclusion, low levels of conscientiousness were found to be associated with lower fruit and vegetable intentions, with the latter also associated with fruit and vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 18 2016


  • Conscientiousness
  • Theory of Planned Behaviour
  • behavioural intention
  • five a day
  • fruit and vegetable consumption
  • health
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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