Young Adults’ Willingness and Intentions to use Amphetamines : An Application of the Theory of Reasoned Action
A questionnaire study of 79 young Australian university students’ attitudes and norms for amphetamine use was conducted to test an alternative measure to intention in the theory of reasoned action (TRA). The study compared the usefulness of Gibbons and colleagues’ concept of behavioural willingness which, it is argued, captures a more reactive and social decision to perform a behaviour than behavioural intention, viewed as more deliberative in nature. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing their attitudes, subjective norms, intention and willingness to engage in amphetamine use in the following 2 weeks. The results provided support for the TRA with attitude and subjective norm significantly predicting intention. However, attitude and subjective norm accounted for a greater proportion of variance in the prediction of behavioural willingness. Overall, the findings provide some support for the notion that behavioural willingness is a more effective criterion than behavioural intention for tapping into the determinants of potentially less rational and more risky behaviours such as young adults’ illegal drug use.
Theory of reasoned action; behavioural willingness; social; illegal drug use