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Health Educ Res. 2005 Jun;20(3):275-90. Epub 2005 Jan 4.

Health Behavior Theory and cumulative knowledge regarding health behaviors: are we moving in the right direction?

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  • 1Department of Communication, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0042, USA.


Although research on Health Behavior Theory (HBT) is being conducted at a rapid pace, the extent to which the field is truly moving forward in understanding health behavior has been questioned. This issue is examined in the current article. First, we discuss the problems within the HBT literature. Second, we discuss the proliferation of HBT and why theory comparison is essential to this area of research. Finally, we reflect on ways that the field might move forward by suggesting a new agenda for HBT research. It is argued that increased recognition of the similarity of health behavior constructs as well as increased empirical comparisons of theories are essential for true scientific progress in this line of inquiry.

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