Regulation/non-regulation/dys-regulation of health behavior, psychological reactance, and health of university undergraduate students
The Self-Regulation vs. External-Regulation Theory (2017) has postulated a continuum of regulation/non-regulation/dys-regulation that is present both in the individual and in the individual's context. This gives rise to a behavioral heuristic that can predict and explain other health-related variables, such as psychological reactance and student health. On a voluntary basis, 269 university students completed validated questionnaires on variables of regulation, reactance and health. Using an ex post facto design, we performed correlational analysis and structural linear regression to build a structural equations model (SEM) with acceptable statistical values. The results showed various predicted relationships: self-regulation was associated with and positively predicted self-regulated health behavior; external health-regulating contexts were associated with and positively predicted self-regulated health behavior; non-regulatory and dysregulatory contexts negatively predicted self-regulated health behavior and students' health itself, as well as positively predicting psychological reactance behavior. Implications are established for explaining variability in general and health-related self-regulation, as well as for intervening in these variables in health programs.