Social Cognitive Theory andHealthy Habit ChangesSunita Singh and Sarah Jane CalubOctober 31, 2011
PURPOSEExamine the impact of the participation in a wellness assignment on healthy habit changes in pre-professional undergraduate students.
Health & Wellness✤ Unhealthy lifestyles attribute 54% reduction in lifespan < 65 years✤ Healthy lifestyles have greater impact than genetic factors on our health as we age✤ Promoting healthy lifestyles is critical role for OT practitioners in health promotion and disease/disability prevention (AOTA)✤ Wellness = product of healthy lifestyles as ﬁtness = product of regular exercise✤ Physical well-being includes physical, mental, and health aspects of life
Research Questions✤ What were the students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of this assignment for increasing their understanding of their own wellness?✤ Supports and barriers for adherence to goals over the semester and after the completion of the course?
Methods✤ Students instructed during health & wellness course✤ Students asked to complete assignment regarding goals for improving wellness during and after completion of course✤ Students completed follow-up q’s in subsequent semesters✤ Results quantiﬁed✤ Responses analyzed using Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory
Participants58 students enrolled in anundergraduate occupationalscience health and wellnesscourse. 57 female; 1 male 55 white; 1 Hispanic; 2 AA Ages 20 - 28
The Assignment✤ Chose 3 - 5 goals to improve wellness over the semester ✤ Goals directed towards behaviors - not outcomes✤ Completed wellness-self-assessments✤ A paper describing results, wellness goals and rationales in reference to how goals would be beneﬁcial✤ Assignment and outcomes were analyzed using social cognitive theory✤ 2 roles: clients/mentors; kept journals of experiences from both perspectives✤ Class discussions✤ A second paper describing experiences
Results ✤ 100%believed they had improved 100% understanding of their own wellness. ✤ 84% increased their understanding of the client perspective in making healthy behavior changes. 84% ✤ 96% increased their understanding of therapist/mentor perspective in supporting healthy behavior changes. 96%
Follow-Up:✤ Students completed questionnaires 6 mo. and 1 yr after completion of the course✤ After 3 months: ✤ 95% were still working on at least one of their goals. ✤ 76% were still working on at least two goals. ✤ 22% were still working on three goals.✤ After 1 year: ✤ 86% were still working on at least one goal ✤ 45% were still working on two goals ✤ 14% were still working on three goals.
Supports Identified✤ Internal motivations of wanting to be healthy✤ Seeing results, feeling better✤ Behavior ➔ habit✤ Enjoying the goal✤ “I saw the other students sticking to the plan and working on their goals. It reminded me that I needed to constantly be working on my own goals.”✤ Feeling supported by seeing the struggles of others.✤ Having a mentor meant that they had to report their personal progress and help each other problem solve.
Barriers Identified✤ Internal issues of difﬁculty with time, changing routines, and feeling stressed.✤ Lack of outside structure, support, reinforcement of goals and tracking made it difﬁcult to maintain goals.
Social Cognitive Theory:✤ Successful change in habits requires a blend of 3 components: ✤ Personal (inﬂuence) ✤ Proxy (relies on others to act on one’s behalf) ✤ Collective (exercised through group action)✤ Process of acting together on shared goal or belief provides motivation to succeed✤ Self-efﬁcacy (goals chosen)
Application to OT ✤ Study suggests value of using social cognitive learning for supporting clients in making healthy habit changes that will impact health, well-being, and longevity ✤ Educating client about value of identifying changes themselves ✤ Family’s/friends’ goals may conﬂict with client’s goals
ReferencesBandura, A. (2002). Social cognitive theory in cultural context. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 51(2), 269-290.Hilton, C., Ackermann, A., & Smith, D. (2011). Healthy habit changes in pre- professional college students: adherence, supports, and barriers. OTJR: Occupation, Participation & Health, 31(2), 64-72. doi: 10.3928/15394492-20100325-01