Health promotion behavior: The relationship with health conception, health perception, and self-esteem in obese women




Wood, Mary Helen

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The present study sought to understand the influence of health conception, perceived personal health status (health perception), and self-esteem on resultant behavior regarding participation or non-participation in health-promotion behaviors, providing a clearer focus concerning what influences participation or implementation of those behaviors. Information concerning factors that influence self-esteem in regard to the study variables was also sought.

A purposive sample of 150 obese women were participants in the study. Participants met the requirement of being obese as 20% over ideal body weight as defined by body mass index. The participants were predominately Caucasian and the majority possessed at least a high school education. Most participants were not participating in a formal treatment program for obesity.

The relationship between the study variables was examined using Pearson's Product-Moment correlation. Stepwise multiple regression was used to identify variables which were most influential in delineating participation in health promotion behaviors and self-esteem and to establish path analysis information and considerations. Nonparametric statistics were used to identify the type of health promotion behaviors performed, the frequency of their performance, and differences between groups in performance of health promotion behaviors. Significant relationships were found between the study variables. No significant relationship was found between health conception and participation in health promotion behaviors or self-esteem. Significant differences in participation in health promotion behaviors were found in individuals with differing levels of self-esteem.

Health promotion behaviors performed by the obese focused on self-actualization, nutrition, and interpersonal support. Behaviors were performed often and regularly, rather than never and sometimes. Overall, the results suggest that obese clients are actually doing many health promotion behaviors other than weight management/control. Further comparison and testing in other populations is recommended.



Nursing, Psychobiology, Mental health, Public health, Self image, Obesity, Perceptions, Health and environmental sciences, Psychology