Relationship of participation in health promotion behaviors to health-related hardiness and other selected factors in older adults
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of participation in health promotion behaviors to perceived health status, social support, and health-related hardiness. The conceptual framework that guided the study was derived from the Health Promotion Model developed by Pender. The sample consisted of 100 subjects, aged 65-89 years, who resided in the central region of Texas. The subjects were predominantly caucasian (97%) with 55% being married and 55% having more than high school graduation. The research instruments were self-administered questionnaires that consisted of demographic data, the Perceived Health Status Scale (Cantril), the Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire, the Health-Related Hardiness Scale, and the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile. A semi-structured pilot was carried out with a sub-sample of 10 subjects. Findings revealed several significant relationships between the independent and dependent variables. Older adults who rated their health status as high reported a greater tendency to participate in health-promoting behaviors. Findings also indicated that as the subjects aged, they participated in health-promoting behaviors with less frequency, possibly related to their reported lower levels of emotional support. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that health-related hardiness was the single best predictor for health promotion behaviors accounting for 29.9% of the variance. The three independent variables combined to explain 34.9% of the variance in health-promoting lifestyle. Recommendations for further research studies include replication of the study using a larger population and shortened scales. The relationships beween social support and health-related hardiness may be examined at the experimental level by testing the effectiveness of a community-based health promotion program which would include classes on health-related hardiness and introduce methods of strengthening social support networks.