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Theses Doctoral

An Integrated Framework of Health Beliefs and Health Behaviors: The Impact of Socio-Cultural Factors in the Case of Type II Diabetes

Muchow, Carrie

The present study was designed to explore the mind-body connection within a psychosocial-cultural context. More specifically, the current investigator hoped to examine how various dimensions of the mind and body interact with psychosocial-environmental factors, which are significantly influenced by cultural processes and reference group membership A cross-sectional study was designed to examine the relationship between health beliefs and health behaviors in sample of 419 adults with Type II diabetes with a focus on the moderating effects of social support, emotional reactions, and experiences of unfair treatment. A self-report questionnaire comprised of 90-items obtained from previously established measures of health beliefs, psychosocial-cultural factors, and health behaviors was administered online via Qualtrics.com. Results of testing a series of measurement and structural models using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed poor fit across all models specified. While these results indicated that the expanded Health Belief Model (eHBM) specified for this study did not adequately describe the diabetes-related thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors for the current sample of participants, findings may have provided preliminary evidence of a three-factor structure reflecting participants’ worries and concerns about their health & perceptions involving challenges or obstacles to successful behavior change, which could interfere with daily life. Although it is unclear whether these results were related to limitations in the measurement instruments and study design, or to differences in the nature of the constructs and the ways in which participants interpreted and responded to the scales, the overall findings of this study suggest a need for research that examines the equivalence of health belief and health behavior measures and greater empirical evidence to ensure that the theories and models used in health research are generalizable across groups of people with varying world-views, identities and lived experiences. Implications for the Health Belief Model (HBM) and ideas for future research are discussed.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Gushue, George V.
Carter, Robert T.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 3, 2021