Understanding Health Behaviour
Full course description
In this module we will discuss important motivational determinants that influence the adoption of healthy and unhealthy behaviours. We will outline important individual determinants as well as socio-environmental and work-related determinants and discuss theories that integrate these factors to better understand health behaviour. We will distinguish determinants for understanding pre-motivational, motivational and post- motivational health behaviour processes. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of physical and social environmental factors that influence health behaviour directly and indirectly via socio-cognitive factors. Within this context we will also pay attention to the role of these determinants in understanding health behaviour differences in people with a lower and higher socio-economic status. In a separate training we will focus on skills to apply these models in practice. Students will learn how to develop questionnaires to assess determinants of health behaviour, how to analyse the data and to translate these findings into a scientific report. The module will be assessed with an individual exam and a group paper.
The general aim of this module is to analyse and critically discuss the determinants of health behaviour derived from theories that are commonly used to explain health behaviour, such as the Health Belief Model, the Theory of Planned Behaviour, the Social Cognitive Theory, the I-Change model, Self-Regulation models, theories of automatic behaviour and Social Ecological Models. This is essential not only for understanding motives why people adopt certain health behaviours, but also to understand which specific steps are required in order to be able to move to the next step: programme development in order to motivate people and organizations to change the conditions favouring a more healthy lifestyle and healthier conditions.
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