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Behavioral Research

Table of Contents
1 General Description and Theoretical Background

Role of Perceived Severity in Health Behaviour Theories


Protection Motivation Theory and Extended Parallel Process Model.


Measurement Issues


Similar Constructs

6 References
7 Appendices: Severity Measures
8 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

Perceived Severity
Anne Miles

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Role of Perceived Severity in Health Behaviour Theories

Health Belief Model. The Health Belief Model (HBM) (Hochbaum, 1958) was developed to understand the uptake of prevention and early detection behaviours, such as attendance at x-ray screening for tuberculosis. The HBM proposes that perceived vulnerability to disease and disease severity combine to form ‘threat’, and that threat perception motivates action. According to the HBM, threat perception drives behaviour but the particular action taken is determined by beliefs about the behavioural options available to counter the threat. A particular behaviour will only be adopted if its perceived benefits (i.e. potential to reduce the disease threat) outweigh its perceived barriers (such as cost, inconvenience, embarrassment, discomfort). In addition, cues to action, such as the presence of symptoms or having a medical appointment, were seen as necessary to ‘set the process in motion’ (Rosenstock, 1974).

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Health Behavior Constructs: Theory, Measurement, & Research