Perceptions of the roles of behavior and genetics in disease risk: Are they associated with behavior change attempts?
Sommaire de l'article
The aims of the present study were to (1) examine the prevalence of perceived behavioral and genetic causal beliefs for four chronic conditions (i.e., obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer); (2) to examine the association between these causal beliefs and attempts at behavior change (i.e., physical activity, weight management, fruit intake, vegetable intake, and soda intake). The data come from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a nationally representative population-based survey of adults (N = 3,407). Results indicated that participants held both behavioral and genetic causal beliefs for all four chronic conditions. Multivariate analyses indicated that behavioral causal beliefs were significantly associated with attempts to increase physical activity and vegetable intake and to decrease weight. Genetic causal beliefs for cancer were significantly associated with reported attempts to maintain weight. Behavior and genetic causal beliefs were not associated with changes in either fruit or soda intake. In conclusion, while behavioral causal beliefs are associated with behavioral change, measurement must capture disease-specific behavioral causal beliefs as they are associated with different health behaviors.