Interpersonal Theory

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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states, “childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years” (CDC). With the alarming rise in obesity rates, more research is being performed to study childhood obesity and measures to prevent the disease and decrease rates. Many focus on making the correct personal choices such as choosing the right foods and beverages based on knowledge. However, obesity tends to be a much more complex health issue with the modern environments being a large factor on whether one is capable or likely to make positive decisions and consume a balanced diet (Eckel, 2003). Interpersonal theories are useful to develop interventions to teach children how to make healthy …show more content…
Although the SCT is very comprehensive theory, it lacks the strength to change a behavior and focuses more on explaining it. Yet, it is still useful in that the SCT uses reciprocal determinism, or constant interaction, between personal factors, environmental factors, and the health behavior itself, as the overall model of behavior change with constructs within it. The personal factor constructs of the SCT are as follows: self-efficacy, outcome expectations, outcome expectancies, knowledge, self-control, and emotional coping. The first construct, self-efficacy, focuses on the confidence one has in their ability to perform a certain behavior successfully. In the SCT, self-efficacy can be influenced by breaking behavior changes down into smaller steps for an individual, having a model demonstrate the behavior, using persuasion to strengthen an individual’s confidence for behavior change, and reducing stress in a person over the new behavior. The second and third constructs are outcome expectations and outcome expectancies. Outcome expectations are the anticipation of outcomes that will come from changing a behavior, and outcome expectancies focus on the value of …show more content…
The remaining constructs of the SCT are the environment, observational learning, incentive motivation, and facilitation. The environment includes the physical or social conditions surrounding an individual and can influence one’s behavior by providing access to facilities or supportive peers, for example. To modify the environment, opportunities should be provided to overcome barriers such as transportation and access to health care, and social support should be improved to encourage the behavior change. Observational learning involves watching others and can increase self-efficacy through demonstration of a skill or behavior. Story telling is an effective form of observational learning, especially for children as they can learn a behavior through hearing about another individual’s success in developing a new skill or tendency. Incentive motivation is another construct which provides support from the environment for a certain behavior through rewarding or punishing people for desired or undesired behaviors. For example, incentive motivation can be influenced by public policies, taxation, or financial incentives given to those who perform specific behaviors. Lastly, the construct facilitation involves new resources made available to make desirable behaviors easier to develop and perform. Removing barriers such as creating safe

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