Consideration of future consequences, time orientation, health behaviour, intended behaviour, meta-analysis
The aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the direction and strength of associations between the Consideration of Future Consequences (CFC) scale and intended and actual engagement in three categories of health-related behaviour: health risk, health promotive, and illness preventative/detective behaviour. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies that measured CFC and health behaviour. In total, 64 effect sizes were extracted from 53 independent samples. Effect sizes were synthesised using a random-effects model. Aggregate effect sizes for all behaviour categories were significant, albeit small in magnitude. There were no significant moderating effects of the length of CFC scale (long vs. short), population type (college students vs. non-college students), mean age, or sex proportion of study samples. CFC reliability and study quality score significantly moderated the overall association between CFC and health risk behaviour only. The magnitude of effect sizes is comparable to associations between health behaviour and other individual difference variables, such as the Big Five personality traits. The findings indicate that CFC is an important construct to consider in research on engagement in health risk behaviour in particular. Future research is needed to examine the optimal approach by which to apply the findings to behavioural interventions.