Modeling Participation Intention of Adults in Continuing Education - A Behavioral Approach

  •  Chiu Lau    
  •  Qijie Chen    


The study examined how attitudes and subjective norms could be used to predict participation intention of adults in continuing education. In this research, attitudes comprised the two variables of positive attitude and negative attitude and subjective norms included normative belief and motivation to comply. Structural equation modeling using a maximum likelihood estimator was used to test the data collected from 752 adult respondents in Hong Kong, China. The results indicated that the relationships between positive attitude, negative attitude, normative belief and participation intention were significant. The relationship between motivation to comply and participation intention was found insignificant. However the strong relationship between motivation to comply and positive attitude revealed the indirect influence of motivation to comply on participation intention through positive attitude. The result also disclosed the phenomenon that normative belief was a better predictor of participation intention in continuing education than positive and negative attitudes in this context.
The Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) was used as the basis of reference in developing the conceptual framework of this study. The revised attitudes towards continuing education scales (Blunt, 2002) were shown to have validity in terms of the direct association with the various attitudes of adults towards continuing education. It was concluded that positive attitude, negative attitude, normative belief and motivation to comply with perceived social influence provided meaningful indicators of the respondents in the sample as well as reliable predictive variables to participation intention in continuing education.

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