Health promotion: Lifestyle behaviors in a Seventh-Day Adventist population
Greek, Ramona Perez
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The problem of study was to determine wel 1 behaviors in a Seventhday Adventist (SDA) population and identify motivations in maintaining health-eliciting behaviors. A comparative analysis was conducted using Nightingale (1946), Pender (1982), and SDA (1987) health concepts. The conceptual framework was comprised of three formulations: Nightingale's (1946) Laws of Nature, Seventh-day Adventist Eight Laws of Heal th ( 1987), and Pender' s heal th promotion factors ( 1987). A comparison of concept usage in the three time periods was done to assess if present day health practices of SDA compare with Nightingale from the past and/or Pender which may be described as futuristic. The research questions asked in the study were: 1. What are the health behaviors practiced by a selected group of Seventh-day Adventists?" 2. What are the health motivations underlying the health behaviors of the selected group of Seventh-day Adventists? 3. What are the shared concepts within the three theoretical formulations: Nightingale (1946), Seventh-day Adventist (1987), and Pender (1987)? Random sampling via computer was used in subject selection. The sampling frame was the roster of current adult membership in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. The researcher-developed questionnaire included demographic data and three open-ended questions. Of 439 mailed questionnaires, 135 were returned and 106 were accepted for data analysis. Content analysis was used to analyze the data (Ho l st i, 1969 ). The findings were: The majority of the respondents in the sample practiced the fol lowing in order of importance: proper diet, exercise, avoidance of the use of alcohol, caffeine, or drugs; adequate rest and sleep; and practiced spiritual activities. Health concepts shared by Nightingale, SDA, and Pender were: diet, rest/sleep, and positive mental attitude. Health motivations for practicing healthy 1 ifestyles revealed that most of the SDAs in the study desired good health and fol lowed the Biblical belief that their bodies were the Temple of God, and felt responsible to care for the body in an optimum way to glorify God and serve others. Health motivations shared by Nightingale, SDA, and Pender were primarily classified under the concept health reasons. Responses were compared on the three theories, self-actualization and stress management were located with the greatest frequency.