For many years, health behaviorhas been one of the topics going intense study for health psychologists. Healthbehavior has caught attention of many health psychologists and is receivingclose review. Scholars have tried to identify the elements that would playcrucial role in predicting health behavior, changing negative health behaviors,maintaining desirable health behaviors. Theories and models have beenformulated in order to obligate the field of health psychology.
One such theoryis the Theory of Planned behavior by Ajzen (1991). According to this theory, behavior ispredicted by one’s intentions. These intentions are governed by components likeattitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control (PBC). Earlierknown as the Theory of Reasoned Action, this theory was modified by theaddition of PBC. This was due to fact that self-efficacy was introduced byBandura in 1977 and this was regarded as an integral fragment in the course ofdetermining behavior.
Another model that was the Attitude Social InfluenceSelf-efficacy model (ASE) (De Vries and Mudde, 1998; De Vries et al., 1988). In1994, Flay and Petraits came up with the Theory of Triadic In?uence (TTI) (Michal(Michelle) Mann, Clemens M. H. Hosman, Herman P. Schaalma and Nanne K. de Vries,(2004)).
These theories provide with crucial foundations which interact witheach other to result in prediction of health behaviors. One commonconsideration that all these theories have in common is the concept of ‘self’.Within each theory, behavioral determinants are assumed to be moderated by manydistal factors including self-esteem and self-efficacy.
The Theory of TriadicIn?uence (TTI) reputes self-esteem in the same sense as Attitude SocialInfluence Self-efficacy model (ASE), that is, as a distal factor. The Precede–Proceedmodel given by Green and Kreuter (Green and Kreuter, 1991) which aims to planhealth education and health promotion has also recognized self-esteem as animportant character (Michal (Michelle) Mann, Clemens M. H. Hosman, Herman P.Schaalma and Nanne K.
de Vries, (2004)). The ideas and estimations that people hold about themselves identify theiridentity, ambitions and aptitudes are known as one’s self-concept. Self-conceptis an extremely powerful force, that inspires internal administration, navigationand fostering individuals throughout their lives, and governing their behavioralpractices character. Under this concept of self, there is a collection ofbelieves that one holds about one self. Some of these believes include the ideaof self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-image, etc. People’s feelings aboutthemselves is known as self-esteem (Michal (Michelle) Mann, Clemens M.
H.Hosman, Herman P. Schaalma and Nanne K. de Vries, (2004)).
Self -efficacy is a personal verdict about how well one can accomplish coursesof action needed to deal with potential situations (Stajkovic, A. D. & Luthans, F. (1998)). Self-efficacy and self-esteem are often interwind.This is for the reason that people frequently try to develop self-efficacy inactivities that provide them with self-worth.
This makes self-efficacy andself-esteem unidentical but nevertheless related. In context to behavioraldomain, development of self esteem can contribute to development of positiveself esteem (Michal (Michelle) Mann, Clemens M. H. Hosman, Herman P.
Schaalmaand Nanne K. de Vries, (2004)). In other words, progress of self-esteem isdirectly proportional to the advancement of self-efficacy. Macdonald in 1994 said that construction ofpositive self-esteem is the most basic task for one’s mental, emotional and socialhealth, which begins in infancy and continues until one dies (Kali H.Trzesniewski, M. Brent Donnellan,Terrie E. ,Madison Richard W. Robins, DavisRichie Poulton (2006)).
Erik Erikson (1968) projecteda psychoanalytic theory of psychosocial development encompassing eight stagesfrom infancy to maturity. Erikson was concerned with the way an individualsocializes and the way this socialization touches upon their sense of self. As theperson ages, s/he passes through different stages. Each stage features somebasic qualities that a person takes n hand while moving on to the other stage. Allthe stages are interconnected. Failure to accomplish the motive of any of thestages might lead to difficulties in going through the next stage.
In his 6thstage, he looks at young adults which comes after the 5th stagewhere adolescents are targeted. The 5th stage is known as “ego-identityvs role confusion” whereas the 6th stage is called “intimacy vsisolation”. This stage comments that success in this phase will lead to thevirtue of love. If one is unsuccessful in completing this period, it may leadto loneliness and depression in that person’s life.
There are many programs that aim to boost self-esteem. Therefore, it iscritical to know if self esteem is associated to significant life outcomes. Onesuch noteworthy outcome is health behavior. From many years, studies haveinspected the consequences and correlates of self-esteem. It is claimed that understandingof the development of self-esteem, its outcomes and its active protection arecrucial for the improvement of both mental and physical health. Literaturedepicts a systematic relationship between self-esteem and internalizing problembehavior.
As seen in the health behavior models, self-esteem can act as bothdeterminant and an outcome of healthy behavior (Michal (Michelle) Mann, ClemensM. H. Hosman, Herman P.
Schaalma and Nanne K. de Vries, (2004)). Many studieshave shown the relation between self esteem and health behavior patterns. Theliterature reveals number of studies focusing in self -esteem and healthbehavior. Some of these researches demonstrate that there is positiverelationship amongst self esteem and health behavior. On the contrary, fewstudies totally scratch the fact and states that there are no relations,howsoever between self-esteem and health behavior. In 1999, Loretta A.
Seigley, highlighted many studies that proves thatcorrelation between self esteem and health behavior exists to a certain extent.One such example is where Duffy explored health locus of control, self-esteem,health concerns and health status on health behavior. The results indicatedthat 25% of variance in health behavior was explained by amalgamation ofvariables. Out of this 25%, self-esteem holds nearly 6% of the total varianceon its own.
Another study by Meuhlenkamp and Sayles concluded that healthpractices are indirectly influenced by self-esteem with social support as amediator. Later this study was replicated, and similar results were found (LorettaA. Seigley, 1999). However, in the same paper, LorettaA. Seigley talks about a report by Kalbok where no relationship was foundbetween self-esteem and specific health behavior exercises.
A recent study by KaliH. Trzesniewski et al. (2006) found that adolescents with low self esteem grewup to have comparatively more mental health problems during adulthood thanadolescents with high self-esteem. It is a widely held view that mental healthproblems may lead to negative health behaviors. Thus, an adolescent going withmental health issues into adulthood is prone to adapt mal health behaviors. Priorto the work of Loretta A. Seigley, in 2004, Michal Mann et al. studiedself-esteem as an approach for mental health promotion.
In this research, it ispointed out that self-esteem acts as a protective factor which underwritesbetter health along with constructive social behavior that acts as a safeguardagainst negative influences. Not only this but better self esteem alsocontributes to the ability to cope with diseased like cancer and heartdiseases. As far as negative self esteem is concerned, its presence can play adominant role in the development of a range of problems like bulimia, anorexianervosa, anxiety, substance abuse and high-risk behaviors. In the same study,it was reported by stating a study by Carvajal et al. (Carvajal et al.
, 1998) thatpositive self-esteem is a determinant of avoiding substance abuse byadolescents, which is mediated via attitudes, perceived norms and perceivedbehavioral control. Crump et al., (1997); Jones and Heaven, (1998) studiesmentioned in Mann’s papers suggested that adolescents suffering from lowself-esteem are moderately at a greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse, andtobacco use. Empirical studies proposed that positive self-esteem can also leadto behaviors which are protective against contracting AIDS, while lowself-esteem contributes to vulnerability to HIV/ AIDS. According to M.
Mann’sreport, lower self-esteem was also linked with damaging health behaviorpractices like needle sharing. Mann’s study also marked an illustration from Paulet al., (1993) study illustrating that reducing sexual risk behavior wasdifficult among people with low self-esteem. With this illustration we can seehow health behavior is influenced by self-esteem.
Study by Gabie E. Smith et al. 1997 primarily focused upon college women as itstarget group. This study tested the premise that people with high self-esteemare more likely than those with low self-esteem to infer information abouttheir personal vulnerability to health risks in a self-serving style. Each oftheir findings proposed that individuals with high self-esteem react toinformation that threatens their perception that their own preventive behaviorsare efficacious in a more egotistical fashion than do people with lowself-esteem. This study also mentions the literatures by Campbell, 1990;Campbell & Lavallee, 1993 that have demonstrated that individuals with highself-esteem have more clearly defined and more stable self-schemas than doindividuals with low self-esteem.
Here we can see another proof that the levelof self-esteem impacts one’s to understanding to comprehend his/her pronenessto risky behaviors. Once the person understands about certain types of risks ina particular behavior it can be said that that person would not push oneselfinto that perilous and negative behavior. In a study to understand the relationship between personality attributes andhealth behaviors and practices during adolescence conducted by R.M.
RivasTorres and others, it was resulted that self-esteem explains 39% of the mentalhealth behavior. Not only this but self esteem is also accountable for 5% ofsocial health. Meanwhile, the value of health, in the case of securitybehaviors, clarified 13%, and in relation to personal health behaviors, 9%.
Accordingly,the given evidence suggests that self-esteem plays a very visible role inregulating health behavior. Researches have shown that self-esteem negativelycorrelates with viewing pornography (r=-0.27). Also, the relationship betweenself-esteem and physical inactivity was statistically found to be 0.24 and-0.22 when associated with illegal drug use (YoungHo Kim Seoul, 2011).
In thelight of this data, one can roughly comment that risky health behaviors such asillegitimate drug use has chances to increase with self-esteem going down. Furthermore,this study also indicated that there is a momentous linear relationship with mostof the health risk behaviors (strongest effect on illegal drug use, ß=?0.36). thesame study reports that in particular, negative health behavior in adolescents iscaused by negative psychological associates.
These are low self-esteem and self-efficacyin addition to loss of ability to control health. The same study mentionsanother study that supports the link between self-esteem and health riskbehaviors like drinking alcohol and smoking. Erik T.
Huntsinger’s study in 2004 accentuated that high self-esteem has beenfound to predict positive health practices in general. Moreover, high self-esteemis also associate with exercise and healthy food consumption. However, low self-esteem has shown its linkwith frequency of alcohol abuse and unhealthy food consumption.
On the contrary, some reports have claimed that there is no relation betweenself-esteem and health behaviors. A report by Kali H. Trzesniewski et al. arguesthat self-esteem plays no crucial role in predicting future adjustments. If thiswas to be true, then all the theories mentioned above, that considerself-esteem as an important part of the final outcomes of their models musthave some delinquency with them. Kali’s repot remarks self-esteem as an “epiphenomenon”of socially significant outcome.
Similar comments were made by some otherstudies as well. Mann’s study (2004) brings in notice Poikolainen et al., (2001)that says that no support was found for the association between self-esteem andheavy alcohol use. The study mentionedearlier (Kali’s study) supports the statement people with high self-esteem aremore prone to face failure when compared with people of low self-esteem as itis believed in this study that this declaration holds sufficient evidence. In a study by Radius et al (1980a.1980b), it was exhibited that, despite of the concerns expressed regardingpersonal health, many young people ignorantly continue to practice maladaptivehealth behavior. With this report, it is highlighted that factors that motivateyouth to adopt healthy life style need to be recognized. The boundaries ofhealth behaviors have not been rigidly classified.
Moreover, the term healthbehavior does not hold a concrete definition as such. Grochman, 1981 howeverestablished health behavior as “those personal attributes such asbeliefs, expectations, motives, values, perceptions, and other cognitiveelements; personality characteristics, including affective and emotional statesand traits; and overt behavior patterns, actions and habits that relate tohealth maintenance, to health restoration and to health improvement.” (Gochman,1982, p. 169), (Gochman D.S. (1988)).· “Behavior is strong or weak because of manyvariables, which it is the task of a science of behavior to identify andclassify”- Skinner, 1953