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Behavioral Research

Table of Contents
1 General Definition and Theoretical Background
2 Neighborhood Physical Activity Environments

Neighborhood Walkability


Standard Measures


Neighborhood Nutrition Environments

6 Divergent Opinions about the Utility of the Construct of Built Environment
7 Tobacco Control Environments
8 Alcohol Related Environments
9 Measurement Issues for Tobacco and Alcohol Environments
10 References
11 Appendix A
12 Appendix B
13 Published Examples

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Other Constructs



Dispositional Optimism




Illness Representations

  Implementation Intentions
  Intention, Expectation, and Willingness
  Normative Beliefs
  Optimistic Bias
  Perceived Benefits
  Perceived Control
  Perceived Severity
  Perceived Vulnerability
  Self-Reported Behavior
  Social Influence
  Social Support

Environments: Theory, Research and Measures of the Built Environment
Karen Glanz, and Michelle C. Kegler

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Neighborhood Walkability

Neighborhood walkability refers to characteristics of a neighborhood that can influence walking for recreation and transportation purposes (Brownson et al., 2004; Hoehner et al., 2005; Cerin et al., 2006). Walking is the most common form of physical activity and, as a result, is the focus of considerable research (Owen et al., 2004). Neighborhood walkability can be measured subjectively through residents’ perceptions or objectively through environmental audits, or for some features, geographic information system databases (Pikora et al., 2002; Hoehner et al., 2005; Day et al., 2006). See reviews by Owen et al. (2004) and Humpel et al. (2002) for summaries of recent research on physical activity and physical environments.

Measuring the built environment is complex because of the large number of dimensions that could be assessed and because different features of the environment vary in importance by behavior. In a study of walking for transportation and recreation, Hoehner et al. (2005) found that neighborhood features associated with walking for transportation differed from those associated with walking for recreation.

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Health Behavior Constructs: Theory, Measurement, & Research