Principal categories of psychosocial theories and models explaining health and lifestyle behaviors

Biomedical modelIt explains individuals' health behavior by:
  • their psychological predispositions (personality, motivation, comprehension skills)
  • social and demographic profile (age, sex, education, etc.)
  • and by some characteristics
  • of expected behavior (complexity, duration, etc.)
  • of the risk to be avoided (prevalence, seriousness, etc.)
Theories of information and communicationThe factors considered are characteristics of the sender, the receiver, the message, the channel and the code: who said what to whom by what means and with what effect?
Personality theoriesThe principal factors considered are:
  • health locus control perceived individually in terms of power and duty and which can be internal (individuals themselves), external (others) or luck (random, God, etc.), or a combination of all three
  • the health logics of individuals leading to behavior by which they manage or ignore their health
Value-expectation theoriesThe principal application of this is the Health Belief Model, which considers
  • threat perception (vulnerability and seriousness of consequences)
  • belief in the efficacy of preventive behavior to reduce the threat (advantage-disadvantage ratio between preventive behavior and risk)
PRECEDE modelPredisposing, Reinforcing, Enabling Causes in Educational Diagnosis and Evaluation. This first multifactorial model used several successive diagnoses: social, epidemiologic, behavioral, educational, and then administrative.
Social learning theoriesThese are applied from social cognitive theory (Self Efficacy Theory), which fills out the preceding theories by taking into account
  • the individuals' belief in their own personal efficacy: mastery and perpetuation of the desired behavior
  • belief in the efficacy of the given behavior in obtaining the hoped-for result
Social representation theoryThis postulates that social representations of health and of other objects related to health are the principal factors influencing the construction, adoption, and changes in health behaviors.
Integration modelsThese structure the contents of earlier models and theories into a more comprehensive whole.

From: Health education for young people: Approaches and methods

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