IntroductionIn the lives of human beings the value of good health cannot be underestimated. Many people hold this factor in high esteem and majority of them wish to avoid the plight of disease as much as possible. As it turns out, many people fail to look for healthcare when it is needed. It could be said that the laxity of human beings and their lack of personal discipline and commitment to health related matters are responsible for the wreckage caused by disease. According to Hayden, J. (2009), many diseases are as a result of the behavior of man.
Many lifestyle diseases and the danger occasions of such action like smoking and prostitution all put an individual at risk of contracting diseases. In the field of health psychology there are several theories that have been put forward to try and explain health related behavior of an individual. The aim of this paper is to look at this theories and their application in the prediction of health behavior. The theories of prediction of health behaviorSocial cognition ModelsAccording to Kegler (2009), social cognitive models refers to a number of similar theories grouped together each of them specifying a small number of affective and cognitive factors (attitudes and beliefs) as the predicted behavior determinants.
The models acknowledge that behavior is determined by numerous factors such as personality, cultural and social cultural factors, and more so they have an assumption that the outcomes of such distal factors are completely or largely mediated by proximal factors provided by the model. As opposed to distal factors, the proximal ones have an assumption that they are amenable to change, for instance by the provision of information that is relevant.
Consequently social cognition models can be utilized as interventions of health behavior (Davies & Grimshaw, 2003). The theories in the model can be discussed as follows; The Health Belief ModelThis model was developed in the 1950s by a social psychologists group who worked in the public health field and sought to explain the reason behind some people not using health services like screening and immunization. The model is applicable widely. There exist four core constructs: the first two relate to a specific disease while the following two relate to a course of action that is possible that by be to reduce the risk or the disease severity.
Perceived vulnerability or perceived susceptibility is a person risk of contracting the disease which is perceived if he does not change the prevailing action pattern. Perceived severity denotes the disease seriousness and its effects that the individual perceives (Hayden, 2009). Perceived benefits are advantages that are perceived resulting from an alternative course of action inclusive of the degree of at which alleviates the disease risk or the consequences of its severity.
Perceived barriers are disadvantages that are perceived by taking up the action recommended together with obstacles that may hinder or prevent its performance from being successful. The mentioned factors are usually assumed to addictively combine in order to impact on the likelihood of affecting a certain behavior. Consequently high severity, high susceptibility, low barriers and high benefits are assumed to result into a probability that is high for implementing the action that is recommended. One factor that is also mentioned in health belief model is cues (behavior triggering events), but little empirical work has been carried out relating to this construct (Denise & Bertha, 2006).