Does Self-congruity or Functional Congruity Better Predict Destination Attachment? A Higher-order Structural Model


Self-congruity; Private self-congruity; Public self-congruity; Functional congruity; Destination attachment


Although self-congruity (SC) theory proposes that private SC and public SC constitute the two higher-order dimensions of SC, extant research in tourism has not investigated these higher-order SC types. Therefore, by validating private SC and public SC as higher-order dimensions of SC, this study aims to explain the relationships among SC, functional congruity (FC), and place attachment in the context of tourism destinations. A higher-order structural model was developed by measuring destination private SC, destination public SC, and destination attachment as reflective-formative higher-order constructs, whereas destination FC as a reflective-reflective higher-order construct. The data were collected from a sample of 430 domestic and foreign tourists visiting Dalian, Northeast China. To analyze the research model, partial least squares structural equation modeling was performed. According to the results, destination attachment was found to be positively influenced by both destination private SC and public SC, as well as destination FC. However, in contrast to the literature that argues FC more strongly influences consumer behavior than SC, by applying a new methodology developed by Rodríguez-Entrena et al. (2018), this study provides evidence that destination private SC, destination public SC, and destination FC are all approximately equally important in predicting destination attachment. Furthermore, both destination private SC and public SC positively influence destination FC, which supports ‘the biasing effect of SC’ on FC. The study supports the partial mediation role of destination FC on the relationship between destination SC and destination attachment. Implications for theory and practice are discussed within the context of destination marketing.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Usakli, A., Kucukergin, K.G., Shi, D., & Okumus, F. (2022). Does self-congruity or functional congruity better predict destination attachment? A higher-order structural model. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 23, 100686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2021.100686

Document Type




Source Title

Journal of Destination Marketing & Management




Rosen College of Hospitality Management


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

This document is currently not available for download.