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Chapter 3

health psychology chapter3

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York University
PSYC 3170
Jennifer Mills

Chapter 3: Health Behaviours Health promotion means being aware both of health habits that pose risks for future disease and of already existing risks such as the vulnerability to breast cancer What is Health promotion? health promotion is a general philosophy that has at its core the idea that good health or wellness, is a personal and collective achievement 1986- World Health Organization defined health promotion as the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health for the individual, health promotion involves developing a program of good health habits early in life and carrying them through adulthood and old age for the medical practitioner, it involves teaching people how to best achieve this healthy lifestyle and helping people at risk for particular health problems learn behaviours to offset or monitor these risks for the psychologist, health promotion involves the development of interventions to help people practice healthy behaviours and change poor ones for community and national policy makers, health promotion involves a general emphasis on good health,availability of information to help people develop/maintain healthy lifestyles , and availability of resources, conditions and facilities that can help people change poor health habits Why are Health Behaviours important? Role of Behavioural Factors in Disease and Disorder the prevalence of actute disorders such as tuberculosis, influenza, and measles has declined because of treatment innovations and changes in public health standards increase in preventable disorders, including lung cancer it is estimated that nearly half of the deaths in Canada are caused by modifiable behaviours Cancer deaths alone could be reduced by 50% simply by getting people to avoid smoking, eat fruits, boost physical activity, protect themselves from the sun ect. modification of health behaviours it will reduce deaths due to lifestyle- related disorders may delay time of death,increasing individual longevity n general life expectancy of population third, the practice of good health behaviours may expand the number of years during which a person may enjoy life free from the complications of chronic disease successful modification of health behaviours may begin to make a dent in the more than 191.6 billion that was spent in Canada in 2010 on health services Risk factors for leading Causes of Death in Canada heart disease: high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, diabetes, being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, smoking, stress stroke- high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, being overweight, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, smoking, stress chronic lung disease- smoking and second hand smoke, environmental factors( air pollution, aerosol sprays, toxic fumes such as chemicals, solvents), physical inactivity What are Health Behaviours? health behaviours- are behaviours undertaken by people to enhance or maintain their health health habit is a health related behaviour that is firmly established and often performed automatically without awareness these habits usually develop in childhood and begin to stabilize around age 11 or 12 health habit may have developed initially because it was reinforced by positive outcomes, but it eventually becomes independent of the reinforcement process and is maintained by the environmental factors with which it is customarily associated Seven important good health habits: sleeping 7-8 hours a night, not smoking, eating breakfast each day, having no more than one or two alcoholic beverages each day, getting regular exercise, not eating between meals, being no more than 10% overweight the more good health habits people practised, the fewer illnesses they had had, the better they had felt, and less disabled they had been follow up 9-12 years later found that mortality rates were dramatically lower for people practising the seven health habits Primary Prevention instilling good health habits and changing poor ones is the task of primary prevention ttaking measures to combat risk factors for illness before an illness ever has a chance to develop Two general strategies for primary prevention 1) most common strategy has been to employ behaviour change methods to get people to alter their problematic health behaviours (programs developed to help people lose weight) 2) more recent approach is to keep people from developing poor health habits in the first place (smoking prevention programs), this is the more preferable option What Factors influence the Practice of Health Behaviours? According to both the biopsycosocial model and public health promotion model, health and health behaviours result from and are maintained by a complex set of intertwining social and individual factors individual health behaviours are influenced by social, cultural, and physical environments in which they occur Socio-economic Factors younger, more affluent, better educated people under low levels of stress with high levels of social support typically practise better health habits than people under higher levels of stress with fewer resources , such as individual's in low SEC Age typically health habits are good in childhood, deteriorate in adolescence and young adulthood, approve again among retired adults under 73, but then deteriorate among adults 73 and older Gender among school aged children, girls tend to eat more nutritious foods than boys, but girls engage in more unhealthy dieting and meal skipping, girls less likely to engage in sports activities Values exercise for women may be considered desirable for women in one culture but undesirable in another, with the result that exercise patterns will differ between the two cultures Personal Control perceptions that ones health is under personal control also determine health habits research on the health locus of control, measures the degree to which people perceive themselves to be in control of their health, perceive powerful others to be in control of their health, or regard chance as the major determinant of their health those who see health as under personal control more likely to practice good health habits Social Influence family, friends, and workplace companions can all influence health related behaviours, in a beneficial direction or an adverse direction Personal goals health habits are heavily tied to personal goals if personal fitness or athletic achievement is an important goal that does not interfere with achievement of other goals, the person will be more likely to exercise on a regular basis Perceived Symptoms if people experience symptoms that make them perceive themselves as vulnerable they are more likely to make changes Access to Heath Care Services access to healthcare services can influence the practice of health behaviours regular pap smears,mammograms,receiving immunization,are directly tied to health care system Place living in a rural area where there is less access to health care services may make it difficult to follow through with intentions to practise preventative health behaviours those living in rural areas in communities in Northern Canada have less healthy eating habits, lower leisure time physical activity, and higher rates of smoking Cognitive Factors the practice of health behaviours is tied to cognitive factors such as the belief that certain health behaviours are beneficial or the sense that one may be vulnerable to an underlying illness if one does not practise a particular health behaviour Barriers to Modifying Poor Health Behaviours people often have little immediate incentive for practising good health behaviour health habits develop during childhood and adolescence when most people are healthy cumulative damage that may arise from bad habits such as smoking, drinking and lack of exercise, may not become apparent for years and few children and adolescents are sufficiently concerned about what they health will be like when they are 40 or 50 once bad habits are ingrained, people are not always highly motivated to change them unhealthy behaviours can be pleasurable, automatic, addictive, and resistant to change knowing one health habit does not enable one to predict another with great confidence Instability of Health Behaviours health habits are unstable over time ex: person may quit smoking for year then start again heath habits are independent of one another and unstable because different health habits are controlled by different factors (ex: smoking-stress, exercise-access) different factors may control the same health behaviour for different people (overeating may be social for one person, stress may lead to overeating for another) factors controlling a health behaviour may change over history of a behaviour- initial instigating factors may no longer be significant and new maintaining factors may develop to replace them factors controlling the health behaviour may change across a person's lifetime (early exercise is part of phys.ed, adulthood it is automatic habit) health behaviour patterns, their developmental course, and the factors that change them across a lifetime will vary s
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