Skip to main content

Behavioral Change

BEHAVIORAL CHANGE

Many behaviors are related to health and health risks. Unprotected sexual intercourse, for example, is a behavior that puts one at risk for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and other sexually transmitted infections. Similarly, maintaining an unhealthful diet is a behavior that puts one at risk for cardiovascular disease. Many health promotion interventions seek to turn people away from risky behaviors and toward healthful behaviors, such as using condoms when having sexual intercourse and following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Behavior change is a complex process. Positive health-related changes come about when people learn about risks and ways of enhancing health, and when they develop positive attitudes, social support, self-efficacy, and behavioral skills. Health-promoting behaviors are most usefully defined as performance objectives. For example, safe sexual practices are enhanced by practical objectives: purchasing condoms, carrying condoms, negotiating condoms, correctly applying condoms, and maintaining condom use.

Gerjo Kok

(see also: Attitudes; Behavior, Health-Related; Behavioral Determinants; Psychology, Health; Social Determinants; Social Networks and Social Support )

Bibliography

Bartholomew, K.; Parcel, G.; Kok, G.; and Gottlieb, N. (2001). Intervention Mapping: Developing Theory- and Evidence-Based Health Programs. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Behavioral Change." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Behavioral Change." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/behavioral-change

"Behavioral Change." Encyclopedia of Public Health. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/behavioral-change

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.