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Modelling Health Behaviour - Knowledge, Beliefs & Attitudes

Author: Julia Arnold

Abstract: There are several models to explain health behaviour. Most of them are prediction models and include several factors that can be used to predict Health Behaviour. These models are called continuous because a person can be “placed along a range that reflects the likelihood of action” (Schwarzer, 2008, p. 3). Such models for example are: the Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura 1977), the Health Action Process Approach (Schwarzer, 1992), the Health Belief Model (Rosenstock, 1974), the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991), the Protection Motivation Theory (Rogers, 1983), the Frameworkmodel of Health Literacy (Zeyer & Odermatt, 2009) or the Intergrated Action Model (Rost et al., 2001). These models have several important factors in common, e.g. beliefs about of severity and vulnerability, expectancies about self-efficacy, the probability of the action leading to the desired
outcome or some kind of incentives like for example values or evaluation-processes or cost-benefit
considerations. But non of these models covers all the important factors, especially not in evaluationvalue-pairs, and none of these models takes (health) knowledge into consideration. Hence, we propose a new model, which allows for investigations about the interrelations of these factors.
We expect the new model to be more powerful in explaining intentions for Health Behaviour, because
of the combination of the different models as well as the inclusion of knowledge and specific
knowledge types. The new model will be presented and discussed at the conference. In future, the
model will be operationalized and tested empirically. If the model turns out to be powerful it can give
hints at how to foster healthy behaviour by tailored interventions.


Keywords: health literacy, health education, attitudes, beliefs