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Effective Health Behavior in Older Adults

K. Warner Schaie, Howard Leventhal, and Sherry L. Willis (Editors)

Based on the edited proceedings of a conference held at Pennsylvania State University in 1999, the chapters are oriented to examining health behaviors and societal mechanisms that facilitate or discourage the assumption of individual responsibility for these behaviors. Health behaviors can be characterized as those that involve the timely utilization of professional resources (e.g., mammograms, regular medical and dental examinations) and those that are primarily within the individual's own initiative (e.g., reduction of dietary fats and sodium, moderate use of alcohol and caffeine, wearing of seat belts, engaging in exercise). Individual factors, such as health beliefs, and organizational factors, such as the nature of health care providers and types of reimbursement, will influence the individual's initiative for these two types of health behaviors. The three major topics in this volume examine the personal attributes affecting health behaviors, especially related to cardiovascular disease and cancer; behavioral interventions to achieve more effective health behaviors; and the impact of societal structures on initiation, change and maintenance of health behaviors. An important set of interactions are those beliefs about disease and the self and the actual and perceived behavior and beliefs of the social network and environment. The emphasis on understanding the impact of broad societal trends affecting the welfare of individuals and their development into old age brought together contributors interested in individual development, the study of health behavior and chronic disease, health economics and social policy.

K. Warner Schaie, Howard Leventhal, Sherry L. Willis (Editors). Effective Health Behavior in Older Adults. New York: Springer Publishing, 2002.