The Origin of the Framework
M-PAC was initially developed and introduced by Dr. Ryan Rhodes, the director of the Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, a research lab within the school of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education at the University of Victoria, Canada. Over the years, research within the lab indicated the need for a meta-theory to organize key concepts, bridge important streams of thinking, and generally inform interventions and promotion strategies.
The Behavioural Medicine Lab is focused on the behavioural and psychological aspects of physical activity and population health. The laboratory is innovative in that it provides a range of equipment and technology to test new models of physical activity motivation and behaviour, intervention strategies, and health promotion marketing.
The multi-process action control (M-PAC) schematic was created as a practical approach to physical activity behavior promotion based on theoretical and empirical evidence from several decades of related research. The schematic is meant to represent a high-level construction of the process of physical activity behavior change based on prior research and theorizing. It is not meant to be a rich and detailed theory that accounts for all critical mediators of behavior change, various temporal pathways between constructs, or with definitive detail of all constructs that influence physical activity. M-PAC, instead, is meant to represent an organizing schematic to bridge several important streams of thinking in physical activity science and thus operate as a meta-theory for organizing key concepts and promotion strategies. M-PAC builds from several streams of past theoretical literature including social cognitive theories of reasoned motives for behavior, volitional models of self-regulated behavioral action, hedonic models of behavior, impulsive and automatic processes involved in behavioral action, approaches that consider adoption and maintenance in behavioral adherence, and overcoming the gap between intentions and behaviour.