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The Roles of Behavioral Intent and Health Self-Efficacy in Promoting and Sustaining Health Behavior Change in Adolescents

23 July 2018


Health behavior change is a fundamental component in the prevention and maintenance of chronic diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate predictive factors of health behavior change in adolescents following a health promotion program. Sixty-six youth were evaluated at the beginning, end, and 6 months following participation in Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education Program (MIKE). Given its malleability and role as a determinant of health behavior, health self-efficacy was a major construct of this study, and it was hypothesized that changes in health self-efficacy would be predictive of changes in health behaviors. Behavioral intent was also a variable of interest, and it was hypothesized that behavioral intent at the beginning of intervention would be predictive of changes in health behaviors over time. Initial analyses did not reveal significant relations between changes in self-efficacy and changes in health behaviors, nor behavioral intent and changes in health behaviors. Post-hoc analyses revealed significant relations between changes in health self-efficacy and changes in water, fruit, and vegetable consumption. This study highlights a crucial need to assess effective methods and contributors to health behaviors in adolescents and provides suggestions for program development and outcome measures. Additionally, post-hoc findings provide a framework to support future in-depth investigation of health behaviors in adolescents.


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