Changing behavior using ecological models

Salmon, Jo and Hesketh, Kylie D. and Arundell, Lauren and Downing, Katherine L. and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: (2020) Changing behavior using ecological models. In: The Handbook of Behavior Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United kingdom, pp. 237-250. ISBN 978-1-108-49639-1

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Ecological models have their origins in ecological psychology which acknowledges the importance of human-environment interactions in understanding and changing human behavior. Most ecological models incorporate multiple levels of influence including policy, community, organizational, social and individual. Some ecological models have been further developed to inform interventions to change human behavior, however, many lack the specificity of behavioral theories. For this reason they have often been paired with theories such as social cognitive theory, organizational theory, behavioral choice theory, etc. A review of 157 intervention studies targeting nutrition, physical activity, smoking, sexual behavior, alcohol/substance use, disease screening and other behaviors reported that fewer than 10% used ecological models to inform intervention design, and 63% focused on just one or two levels of the ecological model. A meta-analysis of 96 health promotion interventions that used ecological models to target child and adolescent smoking, physical activity and diet found an overall effect size of g=0.2, and an effect of g=0.07 after approximately 12-months follow-up. However, organizational and policy targets remain understudied, with a further review reporting just 9% of interventions to prevent unhealthy weight amongst children were multi-level. A major challenge with ecological models is their partial use in interventions. It is recommended that behavior change interventions target all levels of ecological models. Future research should focus on how ecological models can help change the behavior of whole communities, how ecological models can be used within a systems framework, and how they can assist with the scaling up of interventions to improve population reach.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2021 03:14
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2021 03:42
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecological, physical activity, health behaviour, behaviour change.
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health

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