M-PAC and Physical Activity Theory

The Multi-Process Action Control (M-PAC) framework for physical activity behaviour promotion is based off theoretical and empirical evidence from several decades of related research. Please see our dedicated M-PAC website for more specific information.



The BMED lab has a number of current projects on the go with the aim of testing M-PAC assumptions and refining its structure and effectiveness. Find out more about the studies and how to participate here.


For interested readers, we have highlighted key M-PAC papers and contributions related to its concepts below:

Core Papers

  1. Rhodes, R.E. (2021). Multi-process action control in physical activity: A primer. Frontiers in Psychology, section Health Psychology, 12, 797484.
  2. Rhodes, R.E., La, H., Quinlan, A. & Grant, S. (2021). Enacting physical activity intention: A multi-process action control approach. In C. Englert & I. Taylor (Eds.), Motivation and Self-Regulation in Sport and Exercise (pp. 8-20). New York: Taylor & Francis.
  3. Rhodes, R. E. (2017). The evolving understanding of physical activity behavior: A multi-process action control approach. In A. J. Elliot (Ed.), Advances in Motivation Science (Vol. 4, pp. 171-205). Elsevier Academic Press. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.adms.2016.11.001
  4. Rhodes, R. E., & Yao, C. (2015). Models accounting for intention-behavior discordance in the physical activity domain: A user’s guide, content overview, and review of current evidence. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12(9), 1-15. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0168-6
  5. Rhodes, R. E., & de Bruijn, G. J. (2013). What predicts intention-behavior discordance? A review of the action control framework. Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews, 41(4), 201-207. https://doi.org/10.1097/JES.0b013e3182a4e6ed


Key Papers about Affect-Related Aspects of Physical Activity

  1. Ruissen, R.R., Wright, A.G.C., Low, C., Puterman, E., Zumbo, B.D., Rhodes, R.E., Hives, B., Sharpe, B.M. & Beauchamp, M.R. (in press). Continuous-time modeling of the bidirectional relationship between incidental affect and physical activity. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
  2. Jekauc, D., Nigg, C.R., Kanning, M.K., Williams, D.M., Wagner, I., & Rhodes, R.E. (2021). Editorial: Affect in sports, physical activity and physical education. Frontiers in Psychology, section Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 12, 5304.
  3. Phipps, J.D., Hannan, T.E., Rhodes, R.E., & Hamilton, K. (2021). A dual-process model of affective and instrumental attitudes in predicting physical activity. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 54, 101899.
  4. Conner, M., Williams, D.M., & Rhodes, R.E. (2020). Affect-Based Interventions. In: M. S. Hagger, L. D. Cameron, K. Hamilton, N. Hankonen, & T. Lintunen (Eds.). Handbook of Behavior Change (pp. 495- 509). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Stevens, C.J., Baldwin, A.S., Bryan, A.D., Conner, M., Rhodes, R.E., & Williams, D.M. (2020). Affective determinants of physical activity: A conceptual framework and narrative review. Frontiers in Psychology, section Emotion Science, 11, 568331.
  6. Rhodes, R.E., Gray, S.M., & Husband, C. (2019). Experimental manipulation of affective judgments about physical activity: A systematic review and meta-analysis of adults. Health Psychology Review, 13(1), 18-34.
  7. Rhodes, R.E., & Gray, S. (2018). Affect in the process of action control of health protective behaviors. In D.W. Williams, R.E. Rhodes, & M.T. Conner (Eds.), Affective Determinants of Health Behavior (pp. 21-47). New York, NY: Oxford Press.
  8. Rhodes, R.E., & Kates, A.(2015). Can the affective response to exercise predict future motives and physical activity behavior? A systematic review of published evidence. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(5), 715-731.

Key Papers about Regulation and Reflexive Processes and Physical Activity

  1. Lithopoulos, A., Zhang, C.Q., Williams, D.M. & Rhodes, R.E. (in press). Development and validation of a two-component perceived control measure. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.
  2. Rhodes, R.E. & Lithopoulos, A. (2022). Understanding action control of resistance training among adults. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 59, 102108.
  3. Liu, S., Perdew, M., Lithopolous, A., & Rhodes, R.E. (2021). The feasibility of using Instagram data to predict exercise identity and physical activity levels: A cross-sectional observational study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(3), e20954.
  4. Rhodes, R.E., Grant, S. & De Bruijn, G.J. (2020). Planning and Implementation Intention Interventions. In: M. S. Hagger, L. D. Cameron, K. Hamilton, N. Hankonen, & T. Lintunen (Eds.). Handbook of Behavior Change (pp. 572-585). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  5. Husband, C., Wharf Higgins, J., Rhodes, R.E. (2019). A feasibility randomized trial of an identity-based physical activity intervention among university students. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 7(1), 128-146.
  6. Rhodes, R. E., & Rebar, A. (2018). Physical activity habit: Complexities and controversies. In B. Verplanken (Ed.), The Psychology of Habit (pp. 91-109). Cham, Switzerland: Springer
  7. Kaushal, N., Rhodes, R. E., Spence, J. C., & Meldrum, J. T. (2017). Increasing physical activity through principles of habit formation in new gym members: A randomized controlled trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(4), 578-586.
  8. Rhodes, R.E., Kaushal, N., & Quinlan, A. (2016). Is physical activity a part of who I am? A review and meta-analysis of identity, schema and physical activity. Health Psychology Review, 10(2), 204-225.

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