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J Health Psychol. 2006 Jan;11(1):141-62.

The bases of goal setting in the self-regulation of hypertension.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234, USA.


We apply a new methodology to investigate goal setting by hypertensive patients that uncovers the reasons why people have a goal to manage hypertension or not (e.g. to reduce/maintain one's current blood pressure). The reasons are found to consist of superordinate goals in support of one's focal hypertension goal and the hierarchical mental network underlying the superordinate goals. We show that, not only do such superordinate goals influence patients' beliefs, feelings and decisions, but the relationships among superordinate goals are particularly efficacious in the formation of beliefs and attitudes, as well as intentions to self-regulate hypertension and actual efforts in doing so. Hypotheses were tested on a sample of 219 patients at a university-based hypertension clinic.

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