• Psychological Variables Associated with Health Behavior

      Gaffney, Jasmine; Rogers, Rebecca L.; Department of Psychological Sciences (2016-03)
      Forty percent of deaths from heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and stroke are preventable. Altering compromising health behavior would significantly reduce premature death; thus, investigating variables associated with health behavior is important. We examined whether health locus of control (HLOC), hypochondriasis (Hs), and social introversion (Si) would predict perceived physical fitness (PPF) and health behavior (e.g., tobacco use). HLOC is the extent to which people believe that their health is controlled by internal or external factors. Individuals who score high on scales of Hs tend to be preoccupied with their health whereas those who score high on Si tend to be shy and submissive. Participants were 108 undergraduate students. Separate hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted with PPF and health behavior as the dependent variables. Factors of HLOC were entered at stage one of the analyses. Hs and Si were entered at stage two. HLOC did not predict PPF. However, introducing the Hs and Si variables explained 20% of the variation in PPF (p = .001). Likewise, HLOC did not predict health behavior but adding Hs and Si explained 14% of the variation in health behavior (p = .01). Higher Hs and Si were related to lower PPF and health behavior.