Ralf Schwarzer

Ralf Schwarzer
Freie Universität Berlin | FUB · Institute of Psychology

Dr.

About

467
Publications
512,820
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
42,475
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - February 2017
Australian Catholic University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
October 2011 - September 2019
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Position
  • Professor (Full)
February 1994 - March 1995
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (467)
Article
Full-text available
Suicide is a global epidemic. This review assessed the scope and effectiveness of suicide prevention programs. Systematic literature searches were conducted using PsycINFO, ERIC and MEDLINE to retrieve articles published between January 2007 and March 2017 and fulfilled inclusion criteria (studies evaluating the efficacy of theory/model-informed su...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary quality and sustainability are central matters to the international community, emphasised by the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic. To promote healthier and more sustainable food-related practices, the protocol of a web-based intervention to enhance adults' food literacy is presented. The FOODLIT-Trial is a two-arm, parallel, experimental, an...
Article
Full-text available
Research on the longitudinal relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social support among survivors of large-scale trauma is limited. This study assessed bidirectional relationships between PTSD and perceived social support in a large sample of the 9/11-exposed cohort over a 14-year follow-up. We used data from 23,165 World Tr...
Article
Preserving Quality of Life (QoL) in old age gains in importance, but Fear of Falling (FoF) considerably limits QoL. The aim of our study was to understand how physical mediators may translate FoF to QoL. At Time 1, FoF, subjective leg strength, balance, QoL, and objective gait speed were assessed. QoL was reassessed after 6 months, at Time 2 ( n =...
Article
Full-text available
Background: People spend large parts of their everyday life using their smartphones. Despite various advantages of the smartphone for daily life, problematic forms of smartphone use exist that are related to negative psychological and physiological consequences. To reduce problematic smartphone use, existing interventions are oftentimes app-based a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Patterns of protective health behaviors, such as handwashing and sanitizing during the COVID-19 pandemic, may be predicted by macro-level variables, such as regulations specified by public health policies. Health behavior patterns may also be predicted by micro-level variables, such as self-regulatory cognitions specified by health behav...
Article
Full-text available
Background The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s engagement in health behaviors, especially those that protect individuals from SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as handwashing/sanitizing. This study investigated whether adherence to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) handwashing guidelines (the outcome variable) was associated with the trajec...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: For most populations, implementation intentions (IIs) facilitate physical activity (PA). However, for older adults, previous studies found mixed evidence for the effectiveness of this behaviour change technique. To examine which characteristics of IIs predict successful enactment, the content of older participants' IIs formed within a...
Article
Aim: The effects of a bystander intervention model (BIM)-informed intervention (video) for the general community on participant risk of suicide assessment ability (ROSAA) and protective intervention ability (PIA) were compared with an active control (non-BIM-informed video). Method: Video interventions with 628 participants ( M age = 47.99, SD age...
Article
Full-text available
Facing multiple anthropogenic challenges and considering the current global pandemic, food sustainability is stated as threatened by major intergovernmental agencies. Given the heterogeneity of food systems, the need to enhance food-related behaviours by promoting the acquisition of knowledge and competencies, and the demand to involve stakeholder'...
Article
“Nudge” policies are increasingly popular, seeking to modify health-related decisions by affecting response to available options. Thus, critical appraisals of the effectiveness of health-related nudging interventions could help health policy makers in making evidence-based decisions with regards to which of these interventions should be incorporate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s engagement in health behaviors, especially those that protect individuals from SARS-CoV-2 transmission, such as handwashing/sanitizing. Associations between the pandemic’s trajectory and engagement in the protective behavior of handwashing are unclear. This study investigated whether adherence...
Article
Consequences of prenatal maternal depressive symptoms on infant health are well established. But the results of infants’ sex differences of such consequences are mixed. The current study examines whether any association exists between prenatal maternal depressive symptoms and infant physical health different for the sex of newborns. A sample of 84...
Article
Background: We examined the social cognition determinants of parental supervised toothbrushing guided by the health action process approach (HAPA). Methods: In a prospective correlational survey study, participants (N = 185, 84.3% women) completed HAPA social cognition constructs at an initial time point (T1), and 12 weeks later (T2) self-report...
Article
Full-text available
Pursuing food systems' sustainability is crucial. Given the risk constituted by unhealthy diets, scarce research on food-related adjacent fields, and inconsistency across food literacy conceptu-alizations, this study aims to explore the constructs' definition and develop a conceptual and empirical framework of food literacy. A quantitative approach...
Preprint
BACKGROUND People spend large parts of their everyday life using their smartphone. Despite various advantages of the smartphone for daily life, problematic forms of smartphone use exist which are related to negative psychological and physiological consequences. To reduce problematic smartphone use, existing interventions are oftentimes app-based an...
Article
Full-text available
There is a growing recognition that social support can potentially exert consistent or opposing effects in influencing health behaviours. The present paper presents a cross-sectional study, including 2,064 adults from Italy, Spain and Greece, who were participants in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial (C4H study), aiming to examine whether...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to explore the well-being trajectories of adaptation to retirement in relation to individual and cultural differences, with a particular focus on gender. The sample consisted of 596 retirees (330 German, 266 Polish, 59% female) assessed four times within 12 months. Subjective well-being was evaluated with a multivariate app...
Chapter
Full-text available
Perceived self‐efficacy is the sense of control over novel or difficult situations or challenges by means of one's own competent behavior. Highly self‐efficacious individuals choose more ambitious goals, put more effort into attaining them, and feel more capable. Self‐efficacy beliefs hence affect people's feelings, thoughts, and actions. Therefore...
Article
Background: The public health sector has advocated for more innovative, technology-based, suicide prevention education for the community, to improve their ability to detect and respond to suicide risk. Emerging evidence suggests addressing the bystander effect through the Bystander Intervention Model (BIM) in education material may have potential f...
Article
Background Regular and consistent parental involvement in children’s oral hygiene practices is crucial to prevent oral diseases in young children. This emphasizes the need for interventions targeting parental-supervised oral hygiene behavior. To inform the design of future interventions, this meta-analysis aimed to identify the parental social-cogn...
Article
Objective Smartphone users are often said to be the weakest link in information security. They often install apps from unknown sources, connect to open WIFI in public places, and check and open dangerous email attachments on their phones. The current study aims to uncover psychological mechanisms that may be responsible for individual differences i...
Article
Full-text available
It is widely acknowledged that non-compliance with smartphone security behaviors is widespread and may cause severe harm to people and devices. In addition to device-based security issues, there are psychological factors involved in these behaviors such as self-efficacy, risk awareness, and social support. The present study examines associations of...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Behavioural intentions as well as action planning can facilitate the adoption and maintenance of physical activity under certain conditions. The present study examined levels of plan‐specific self‐efficacy and habit strength as possible conditions that may modify this relationship. Design As a secondary analysis of a larger randomized t...
Article
Background: Pregnancy-related stress in women who are pregnant with twins, may increase the risk of adverse emotional outcomes such as depressive symptoms and anxiety. Possible protective coping resources of pregnant women could be their socio-economic background, their marital relationship quality (dyadic satisfaction), or their emotional intellig...
Article
Full-text available
Background Regular physical activity (PA) was found to alleviate pain and improve functioning among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK). Heightened health demands due to OAK severity, body mass index (BMI), and depressive symptoms may require self-regulatory strategies to engage in more PA. Research on willpower—the capacity to exert sel...
Presentation
Introdução: As taxas de excesso de peso nacionais exigem mudanças de hábitos alimentares urgentes. O constructo literacia alimentar (LA) tem vindo a ser explorado; contudo, além da inconsistência nas recentes definições, modelos conceptuais que expliquem LA são escassos. Este estudo apresenta um modelo que define LA, e identifica determinantes e fa...
Article
Full-text available
Poor eating habits are increasing the prevalence of weight-related issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Given the demand to improve individuals' food knowledge and competencies aiming at healthier behaviours, the current investigation explores the concept of food literacy. Considering the lack of a shared understanding of food lite...
Presentation
Full-text available
Background: Overweight/obesity rising rates point out the urgency to not only understand the diverse meanings of eating healthily but also explore which psychological and behavioural strategies linked to eating habits. In the field of food literacy, the aim of this study is to explore the meaning of eating according to one’s needs and related psych...
Poster
Full-text available
Cross-sectional and comparative study, adopting a mixed methodology with both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 food-related experts (20 women and 10 men), with ages from 23 to 57 (M = 38.4; DP = 8.60). Experts were from institutions directly or indirectly related to food: Education, Health,...
Article
Background: One promising intervention strategy to increase fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is action planning. However, conditions of successful plan enactment, i.e., the translation of plans into action, have rarely been studied. Therefore, the relationship between plan characteristics and plan enactment is being examined. Methods: Second...
Presentation
Introdução: Atualmente, mais de metade da população portuguesa tem excesso de peso. Considerando o aumento da prevalência de doenças associadas à alimentação, a mudança de hábitos alimentares é fundamental. Tendo em conta a falta de consenso e as lacunas teóricas, é essencial investigação na área da literacia alimentar. Assim, o objetivo deste estu...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The health action process approach (HAPA) is a social-cognitive model specifying motivational and volitional determinants of health behavior. A meta-analysis of studies applying the HAPA in health behavior contexts was conducted to estimate the size and variability of correlations among model constructs, test model predictions, and test...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Regulating health behavior change often occurs in a dyadic context of romantic relationships. Dyadic approaches to standard health behavior change models are, however, barely considered. We investigated volitional processes of the Health Action Process Approach model for two health behaviors within a dyadic context of romantic couples. Sp...
Data
Parameter estimates from mixed poisson models testing the within-person effects of daily volitional HAPA predictors on daily number of cigarettes smoked in the context of smoking cessation (Study 1). (DOCX)
Data
Parameter estimates from mixed models testing the within-person effects of daily volitional HAPA predictors on daily physical activity in the context of physical activity (Study 2). (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Background: The present randomized controlled trial, which is crossed with the "PREVenting the impairment of primary Osteoarthritis by high impact long-term Physical exercise regimen" Main Medical Trial (PrevOP-MMT), aims to evaluate a psychological adherence program (PrevOP-PAP), and is designed to support persons with knee osteoarthritis (OAK) i...
Article
Full-text available
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The spelling of the first author’s name was incorrect. It should read as Kyra Hamilton. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Article
Objective: Previous research demonstrates that planning mediates the relationship between intention and health behavior change, but evidence is inconclusive, and possible sex differences within the intention-planning-behavior-chain are understudied so far. The current study, therefore, aims to disentangle this by addressing potential sex differenc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: The Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) is a social-cognitive model specifying motivational and volitional determinants of health behavior. We conducted a meta-analysis of studies applying the HAPA in health behavior contexts to estimate the size and variability of correlations among model constructs, test model predictions, and test e...
Article
Purpose/objective: Self-efficacy forms key modifiable personal resources influencing illness management, rehabilitation participation, and their outcomes such as perceived health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among people with a cardiovascular disease (CVD). Yet, an overarching research synthesis of the self-efficacy-HRQOL association in the CVD...
Article
Introduction: Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing diabetes in high risk populations including in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). This study applied the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) to determine the motivational and volitional factors important in increasing physical activity among women with previous...
Article
Full-text available
At the National Action Plan for Food and Nutrition 2015-2020, the WHO highlights that poor dietary habits are responsible for many non-communicable diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers). Given the urgency to improve food intake, the lack of consensus over the concept of food literacy and the need of research in this domai...
Article
Purpose: Intention and planning are important predictors of dietary change. However, little attention has been given yet to the relationship between them as a function of other social-cognitive factors and their interplay with socio-demographics such as sex. Methods: In an observational study (1520 women, 430 men) with two measurement points in...
Article
Full-text available
At the National Action Plan for Food and Nutrition 2015-2020, the WHO highlights that poor dietary habits are responsible for many non-communicable diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancers). Given the urgency to improve food intake, the lack of consensus over the concept of food literacy and the need of research in this domai...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the childhood benefits gained from engaging in adequate physical activity, Australian preschool-aged children are reported to spend little time being physically active. Parental planning is important to engaging preschool-aged children in physical activity. Behavioral barriers, normative support, and self-efficacy have been identified as ke...
Poster
Full-text available
At the National Action Plan for Food and Nutrition 2015-2020, the WHO highlights that poor dietary habits are responsible for many non-communicable diseases (e.g., diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some cancer). Given the urgency to improve food intake, the lack of consensus over the concept of food literacy and the need of research in this domain...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many individuals engaging in Internet-based interventions fail to complete these treatments as intended. The processes responsible for treatment adherence in Internet-based interventions are still poorly understood. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate to what extent adherence in an Internet-based intervention can be p...
Article
Full-text available
Self-efficacy has long been viewed as an important determinant of academic performance. A counter-position is that self-efficacy is merely a reflection of past performance. Research in the area is limited by unidirectional designs which cannot address reciprocity or the comparative strength of directional effects. This systematic review and meta-an...
Chapter
Scientific theory has two main functions. First, theory gives direction to the development of research questions (the heuristic function). Second, theory facilitates the interpretation and integration of research findings (the integrative function).
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: With 60-90% of children worldwide reportedly experiencing dental caries, poor oral health in the younger years is a major public health issue. As parents are important to children's oral hygiene practices, we examined the key self-regulatory behaviours of parents for supervising their children's toothbrushing using the health action pr...
Article
Objectives: The randomized controlled trial examined factors that might be responsible for individual differences in physical activity change among men and women who participated in a lifestyle intervention. The main purpose of the analyses regarded the role of psychological mechanisms involving motivation, planning, self-monitoring, and habit str...
Article
Objective: An online intervention to improve fruit and vegetable (FV) intake examines the role of planning, outcome expectancies, self-efficacy and gender. Women are not only expected to eat more FV than men, but they are also expected to be more responsive to nutritional advice and benefit more from treatment. Method: A two-arm digital interventio...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the role of normative support, behavioural automaticity, and action control in predicting dental flossing behaviour. Between May and October 2015, 629 Australian young adults completed a questionnaire assessing constructs of normative support and automaticity, and a 2-week follow-up of dental flossing behaviour and action control, r...
Poster
Multimorbidity poses a threat to autonomy in older adults in line with less activity and compromised functioning. This study examined effects of self-efficacy on three outcomes: subjective physical functioning, physical activity, and perceived autonomy. The longitudinal study was conducted with 309 multimorbid older adults (aged 65–85) including th...
Chapter
Perceived self-efficacy is one’s belief in being capable of performing novel or difficult tasks and achieving what one wants to achieve (Bandura, 1997). Therefore, this “can do”-cognition represents a self-confident view of one’s capability to deal with challenging situations by means of one’s own behavior. According to Albert Bandura, self-efficac...
Article
Full-text available
Background We investigated the determinants of trajectories of physical symptoms related to lung cancer (a quality of life [QOL] aspect) and self-efficacy among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It was hypothesized that gender and family cancer history in first-degree relatives would have synergistic effects on QOL-lung cancer speci...
Article
Full-text available
Background: This study investigated the validity of self-reported concentration and memory problems (CMP) in residents environmentally exposed to manganese (Mn). Method: Self-report of CMP from a health questionnaire (HQ) and the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) was compared to neuropsychological assessment (Trails A&B; Digit Span; Digit...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To assess the effect of an intervention designed to enhance physiotherapists' communication skills on chronic low back pain patients' adherence to home-based rehabilitation recommendations. Design: Cluster randomized controlled trial. Setting: Publicly funded physiotherapy clinics in Dublin, Ireland; PARTICIPANTS: Physiotherapists (...
Article
Full-text available
Se presenta un marco de referencia para explicar, predecir, y modificar conductas de salud el cual consiste en varios constructos psicológicos y un mecanismo de mediación. La percepción de riesgo, las expectativas de resultado, la autoeficacia, la intención, y el control de acción constituyen los bloques de construcción para un modelo de mediación...
Article
Objective The traditional Mediterranean diet includes high consumption of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, cereals and nuts, moderate to high intake of fish and dairy products, and low consumption of meat products. Intervention effects to improve adoption of this diet may vary in terms of individuals’ motivational or volitional prerequisites...
Article
Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the joint effect of self-efficacy, action planning, and received social support on fruit and vegetable intake. Design: The study used a longitudinal design with 3 waves of data collection. Setting: Major university campus in Beijing, China. Participants: Young adults (n = 286). Variable...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeAlthough poor oral hygiene practices can have serious health consequences, a large number of adults brush or floss their teeth less than the recommended time or not at all. This study examined the mediating effect of two key self-regulatory processes, self-efficacy and planning, as the mechanisms that translate dental flossing intentions int...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Exposure to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11/2001 resulted in continuing stress experience manifested as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms in a minority of the police responders. The WTC Health Registry has followed up a large number of individuals, including police officers, at three waves of da...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Physical activity, including some form of vigorous activity, is a key component of a healthy lifestyle in young people. Self-efficacy and social support have been identified as key determinants of physical activity; however, the mechanism that reflects the interplay of these two factors is not well understood. The aim of the current st...