Health behaviors

  • Priya Magesh Mahatma Gandhi University
Keywords: Health behavior, Models of health behaviors

Abstract

Health is defined as a complete state of physical, mental   and social well-being   and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity [World health organization, 1948]. Defining  health  as  the absence of  illness, health is   recognized  to be  an achievement involving  balance among  physical, mental  and  social well-being.  Physical   health    is   inextricably    interwoven    with   psychological   and   social environment. All conditions of   health and   illness, not just the disease, identified   by   the   early   psychosomatic theorists   are influenced by   psychological and social factors.  The mind and   the   body cannot be meaningfully separated in matters of   health and   illness. This article defines health behaviors as any activity undertaken for the purpose of preventing or detecting disease or for improving health and well-being. Common ways of classifying different health behaviors (e.g., health enhancing, health compromising) are examined. Prevalence of key health behaviors (smoking, diet, exercise, screening, sexual behaviors, alcohol use) in different groups and their relationship to morbidity and mortality is reported. This presentation highlights the role of cognitive variables (such as health beliefs, attitudes, self- efficacy) as described in psychological models in understanding the distribution/prevalence of health behaviors and the use of such models in changing health behaviors.

 

 

Author Biography

Priya Magesh, Mahatma Gandhi University

Ph.D. Research scholar Department of Psychology, Mahatma Gandhi University. Meghalaya, India

References

Adler, N & Matthews, K, (1994). Health psychology: why do some people get sick and some
stay well? Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 229–259.
Ajzen, I, (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision
Processes, 50, 179–211.
Allied Dunbar Fitness Survey 1992 Health Education Authority, London.
Bandura, A, (1997). Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: W. H. Freeman.
Baum, A & Posluszny, D M, (1999). Health psychology: mapping bio behavioral contributions
to health and illness. Annual Review of Psychology, 50, 137–163.
Belloc, N B & Breslow, L, (1972). Relationship of physical health status and health practices.
Preventive Medicine, 9, 409–421.
Black, Report, (1988). Inequalities in Health: The Black Report and the Health Divide. London:
DHSS.
Blaxter, M, (1990). Health and Lifestyles. London: Routledge.
Brubaker, R G & Fowler, C, (1990). Encouraging college males to perform testicular selfexamination: evaluation of a persuasive message based on the revised theory of action. Journal
of Applied Social Psychology, 20 (17), 1411–1422.
Conner, M & Norman, P, (1996). Predicting Health Behavior. Buckingham, UK: Open
University Press.
Doll, R, Peto, R, Wheatley, K, Gray, R & Sutherland, I, (1994). Mortality in relation to smoking:
40 years' observations on male British doctors. British Medical Journal, 309, 901–911.
Fife-Schaw, C R & Breakwell, G M, (1992). Estimating sexual behavior parameters in the light
of AIDS: a review of recent UK studies of young people. AIDS Care, 4, 187–201.
Friedman, G D, Dales, L G & Ury, H K, (1 979). Mortality in middle-aged smokers and
nonsmokers. New England Journal of Medicine, 300, 213–217.
Gerrard, M, Gibbons, F X & Bushman, B J, (1996). Relation between perceived vulnerability to
HIV and precautionary sexual behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 390–409.
D S Gochman (Ed), (1997). Handbook of Health Behavior Research New York, Vols. 1 –4:
.
Godin, G & Kok, G, (1996). The theory of planned behavior: a review of its applications to
Health-related behaviors. American Journal of Health Promotion, 11, 87–98.
Gollwitzer, P M, (1993). Goal achievement: the role of intentions. British Medical Journal, 7,82 -
92.
Stroebe & M Hewstone, (1993). European Review of Social Psychology Chichester, UK, Wiley.
Moore, L, Smith, C & Catford, J, (1994). Binge drinking: prevalence, patterns and policy. Health
Education Research, 9, 497–505.
Nutbeam, D & Catford, J, (1990). Modifiable risks for cardiovascular disease among general
practitioners in Wales. Public Health, 104, 353–361.
Orbell, S, Hodgkins, S & Sheeran, P, (1997). Implementation intentions and the theory of
planned behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 945–954.
Prochaska, J O, DiClemente, C C & Norcross, J C, (1992). In search of how people change:
applications to addictive behaviors. American Psychologist, 47, pp. 1102–1114.
Rigotti, N A, (1989). Cigarette smoking and body weight. New England Journal of Medicine,
320, 931–933.
Sampos, C, Fulwood, R & Haines, C., (1989). The prevalence of high blood cholesterol levels
among adults in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, 262,
45–52.
Steptoe, A & Wardle, J, (1992). Cognitive predictors of health behavior in contrasting regions of
Europe. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 31, 485–502.
Strax, P, (1984). Mass screening for control of breast cancer. Cancer, 53, 665–670.
Vernon, S W, Laville, E A & Jackson, G L, (1990). Participation in breast screening programs: a
review. Social Science and Medicine, 30, 1107–1118.
Waldron, I, (1988). Why do women live longer than men? Journal of Human Stress, 2, 2–13.
Published
2018-01-31