Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: a systematic review of behaviour theories
Author(s): Kwasnicka, Dominika
Dombrowski, Stephan U
White, Martin
Sniehotta, Falko F
Contact Email:
Keywords: Behaviour change
behaviour maintenance
theory review
Issue Date: 2016
Date Deposited: 28-Feb-2017
Citation: Kwasnicka D, Dombrowski SU, White M & Sniehotta FF (2016) Theoretical explanations for maintenance of behaviour change: a systematic review of behaviour theories. Health Psychology Review, 10 (3), pp. 277-296.
Abstract: Background: Behaviour change interventions are effective in supporting individuals in achieving temporary behaviour change. Behaviour change maintenance, however, is rarely attained. The aim of this review was to identify and synthesise current theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance to inform future research and practice.  Methods: Potentially relevant theories were identified through systematic searches of electronic databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO). In addition, an existing database of 80 theories was searched, and 25 theory experts were consulted. Theories were included if they formulated hypotheses about behaviour change maintenance. Included theories were synthesised thematically to ascertain overarching explanations for behaviour change maintenance. Initial theoretical themes were cross-validated.  Findings: One hundred and seventeen behaviour theories were identified, of which 100 met the inclusion criteria. Five overarching, interconnected themes representing theoretical explanations for behaviour change maintenance emerged. Theoretical explanations of behaviour change maintenance focus on the differential nature and role of motives, self-regulation, resources (psychological and physical), habits, and environmental and social influences from initiation to maintenance.  Discussion: There are distinct patterns of theoretical explanations for behaviour change and for behaviour change maintenance. The findings from this review can guide the development and evaluation of interventions promoting maintenance of health behaviours and help in the development of an integrated theory of behaviour change maintenance.
DOI Link: 10.1080/17437199.2016.1151372
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Licence URL(s):

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Kwasnicka_etal_HPR_2016.pdfFulltext - Published Version2.09 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.