Associations between positively valenced affect and health behaviors vary by arousal

Dusti R. Jones, Joshua M. Smyth, Jennifer E. Graham-Engeland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Evidence is mixed with regard to whether positively valanced affect (PA) is associated with engagement in health behaviors. Both affective arousal (activated/deactivated) and level of analysis (between and within-person) may influence such associations. Adults (N = 121; 25–65 years) completed ambulatory assessments of affect and daily reports of sleep, diet, and physical/sedentary activity. Patterns of association were generally consistent at between and within-person levels, although associations varied by arousal. Activated PA was positively associated with action tendencies (i.e., higher physical activity, lower sedentary activities) and riskier behaviors (such as poor diet) whereas deactivated PA was positively associated with engaging in satiety and rest (i.e., better diet, better sleep quality, and more sedentary activity). Results were maintained when covarying for indicators of relative socioeconomic advantage and neuroticism. Overall, arousal appears to be related to the nature of the associations between PA and health behaviors, highlighting the importance of assessing and evaluating a range of arousal states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-235
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology


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