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Soc Sci Med. 1985;20(10):981-91.

Choice or chance: further evidence on ideas of illness and responsibility for health.


A study of 204 Welsh mothers using well validated research methods has demonstrated that better understanding of the antecedents to health behaviours contributes to a reorientation of stereotyped ideas about working class health beliefs and behaviour. Fatalism and an orientation to life-style choices for health are not necessarily contradictory concepts and this has important implications for those who are involved in education for health. The development of a Salience of Lifestyle Index (SLI) is described and studied in relation to concepts of blame for illness, education, house tenure, religious commitment, employment, health behaviours and social background.

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