Health behaviors and psychological health control types among university students

Original Article, Zdr Publ 2013;123(3): 236-240

JAROSŁAW SAK1, MICHAŁ WIECHETEK2, MAREK JAROSZ2, JAKUB PAWLIKOWSKI1,
ANDRZEJ KAPUSTA3, LIDIA REJDAK4, PIOTR KSIĄŻEK4

1 Department of Ethics and Philosophical Anthropology, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2 Department of Social Psychology and Psychology of Religion, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Department of Ontology and Theory of Knowledge, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland
Chair and Department of Public Health, Medical University of Lublin, Poland


DOI: 10.12923/j.2084-980X/26.3/a.06

Abstract

Introduction. The factors that influence gaining good results of prophylactic programs are human attitudes to health. These attitudes manifest themselves as individual beliefs and health-oriented behaviors.
Aim. The aim of the research was to investigate relations between the health control types and health behaviors performed by the university students.
Material and methods. The research was conducted in the group of 532 Polish university students in 2009. The average age in the researched group was M=20.74 (SD=1.542). Two questionnaires were used in the survey: the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC) worked out by Wallston, Wallston & R. DeVellis and the Inventory of Health Behaviors (IHB) by Juczynski. The MHLC scale allows for evaluating three dimensions of the health locus of control, namely: Internal Health Locus of Control (IHLC), Powerful Others Health Locus of Control (PHLC) and Chance Health Locus of Control (CHLC). The Inventory of Health Behaviors (IHB) allows for estimating various kinds of health behaviors categorized into four groups: diet habits, preventive behaviors, positive psychical attitude and health practices.
Results. The health behaviors correlate most strongly with the PHLC dimension. The higher result in the PHLC dimension was obtained, the higher were the results in the following three dimensions: preventive behaviors, positive psychical attitudes and health practices.
Conclusions. Students manifest the belief that internal control (IHLC) prevail over external sources of health control (PHLC, CHLC). In the studied group, the women have exhibited significantly greater intensification of good diet habits and preventive behaviors. The main factor modifying preventive behaviors performed by researched students is the belief in the influence
of other people on the students’ health status.

Keywords

health locus of control types, health behavior, health promotion, health education, students.

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