Social and Behavioral Theories

1. Learning Objectives

After reviewing this chapter, readers should be able to:

  • Define what theory is and identify two key types of social and behavioral science theory that are relevant to public health interventions.
  • Describe the key constructs of four theories that are often used in public health interventions: the Health Belief Model, The Transtheoretical Model and Stages of Change, Social Cognitive Theory, and the Social Ecological Model.
  • Understand the nature of evidence about the relative effectiveness of theory-based interventions.
  • Identify the most important considerations in choosing the right theory to address a health behavior problem in a particular population and context.