Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach - Table 2

Table 2. Six Most Commonly Cited Behavior Change Models, Theories, and Constructs - Focus and Key Concepts

Level Addressed Theory/Model Focus Key Concepts
Theories that address how individual factors such as knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, prior experience, and personality influence behavioral choices Health belief model Peoples' perceptions of the threat of a health problem and appraisal of behavior recommended to prevent or manage problem.

Perceived susceptibility
Perceived severity
Perceived benefits of action
Perceived barriers to action
Cues to action

Theory of reasoned action/theory of planned behavior

People are rational beings whose intention to perform a behavior strongly relates to its actual performance through beliefs, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control.

Behavioral intention
Subjective norms
Perceived behavioral control

Stages of change/ transtheoretical model

Readiness to change or attempt to change a health behavior varies among individuals and within an individual over time. Relapse is a common occurrence and part of the normal process of change.


Theories that address processes between the individual and primary groups that provide social identity, support, and role definition

Social cognitive theory/social learning theory

Behavior is explained by dynamic interaction among personal factors, environmental influences, and behavior.

Observational learning
Reciprocal determinism
Outcome expectancy
Behavioral capacity

Community organization/ building

Processes by which community groups are helped to identify and address common problems or goals.

Participation and relevance
Community competence
Issue selection

Social marketing

The application of commercial marketing technologies to increase the practice of healthy behaviors in order to improve individual and collective well-being.

Consumer orientation
Audience segmentation
Communication channels analysis
Voluntary exchange of goods and services

Current as of: November 2013

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