How implicit motives and everyday self-regulatory abilities shape cardiovascular risk in youth

Craig K. Ewart, Gavin J. Elder, Joshua M. Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose Tested hypotheses from social action theory that (a) implicit and explicit measures of agonistic (social control) motives and transcendence (self-control) motives differentially predict cardiovascular risk; and (b) implicit motives interact with everyday selfregulation behaviors to magnify risk. Methods Implicit/explicit agonistic/transcendence motives were assessed in a multi-ethnic sample of 64 high school students with the Social Competence Interview (SCI). Everyday self-regulation was assessed with teacher ratings of internalizing, externalizing, and self-control behaviors. Ambulatory blood pressure and daily activities were measured over 48 h. Results Study hypotheses were supported: implicit goals predicted blood pressure levels but explicit self-reported coping goals did not; self-regulation indices did not predict blood pressure directly but interacted with implicit agonistic/ transcendence motives to identify individuals at greatest risk (all p≤0.05). Conclusions Assessment of implicit motives by SCI, and everyday self-regulation by teachers may improve identification of youth at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-298
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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