National Cancer Institute   National Cancer Institute

Behavioral Research

1 General Description and Theoretical Background
2 Role of Perceived Severity in Health Behaviour Theories
3 Protection Motivation Theory and Extended Parallel Process Model.
4 Measurement Issues
5 Similar Constructs


7 Appendices: Severity Measures
8 Published Examples

Download Full Text (PDF)

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

<< Previous



Ajzen, I. (1985). From intentions to action: a theory of planned behavior. In Action Control: from Cognitions to Behaviors, (ed. J. Kuhl and J. Beckman), pp. 11-39. Springer: New York.

Albarracín, D., Gillette, J.C., Earl, A.N., Glasman, L.R., Durantini, M.R., & Ho, M.H. (2005). A test of major assumptions about behavior change: a comprehensive look at the effects of passive and active HIV-prevention interventions since the beginning of the epidemic. Psychological Bulletin 131, 856-97.

Anagnostopoulos, F. & Spanea, E. (2005) Assessing illness representations of breast cancer: a comparison of patients with healthy and benign controls. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 58, 327-34.

Brewer, N. T., Chapman, G. B., Gibbons, F. X., Gerrard, M., McCaul, K. D. & Weinstein, N. D. (2007). Meta-analysis of the relationship between risk perception and health behavior: the example of vaccination. Health Psychology 26, 136-145.

Brewer, N.T., Weinstein, N.D., Cuite, C.L., & Herrington, J.E. (2004). Risk perceptions and their relation to risk behavior. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 27, 125-30.

Broadbent, E., Petrie, K. J., Main, J. & Weinman, J. (2006). The brief illness perception questionnaire. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 60, 631-637.

Champion, V. L. (1984). Instrument development for health belief model constructs. ANS Adv. Nurs. Sci. 6, 73-85.

Edwards, W. (1954). The theory of decision making. Psychological Bulletin 51, 380-417.

Feather, N. T. (1959). Subjective probability and decision under uncertainty. Psychological Review 66, 150-164.

Feather, N. T. (1982). Expectations and Actions: Expectancy-value Models in Psychology. Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ.

Figueiras, M. J. & Alves, N. C. (2007). Lay perceptions of serious illnesses: An adapted version of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) for healthy people. Psychology and Health 22, 143-158.

Fishbein, M. & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Addison-Wesley: Boston.

Fishbein, M., Triandis, H. C., Kanfer, F. H., Becker, M., Middlestadt, S. E. & Eichler, A. (2001). Factors influencing behavior and behavior change. In Handbook of Health Psychology, (ed. A. Baum, T. A. Revenson and J. E. Singer), pp. 3-16. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers: Mahwah, NJ, US.

Harrison, J. A., Mullen, P. D. & Green, L. W. (1992). A meta-analysis of studies of the Health Belief Model with adults. Health Education Research 7, 107-116.

Hochbaum, G. M. (1958). Public participation in medical screening programs: a sociopsychological study. In (Anonymous), United States Government Printing Office: Washington D.C.

Janz, N. K. & Becker, M. H. (1984). The Health Belief Model: a decade later. Health Education Quarterly 11, 1-47.

Leventhal, H. (1970). Findings and theory in the study of fear communications. In (ed. L. Berkowitz), pp. 119-186. Academic Press: San Diego, CA, US.

Lewin, K., Dembo, T., Festinger, L. & Sears, P. S. (1944). Level of aspiration. In Personality and the Behavior Disorders: A Handbook Based on Experimental and Clinical Research, (ed. J. M. Hunt), pp. 333-378. The Ronald Press: New York.

Maddux, J.E., & Rogers, R.W. (1983). Protection motivation and self-efficacy: A revised theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 19, 469-479.

Maiman, L. A. & Becker, M. H. (1974). The Health Belief Model: Origins and correlates in psychological theory. Health Education Monographs 2, 336-353.

Maiman, L. A., Becker, M. H., Kirscht, J. P., Haefner, D. P. & Drachman, R. H. (1977). Scales for measuring health belief model dimensions: a test of predictive value, internal consistency, and relationships among beliefs. Health Education Monographs 5, 215-230.

Milne, S., Sheeran, P. & Orbell, S. (2000). Prediction and intervention in health-related behavior: A meta-analytic review of protection motivation theory. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30, 106-143.

Moss-Morris, R., Weinman, J., Petrie, K. J., Horne, R., Cameron, L. D. & Buick, D. (2002). The revised illness perception questionnaire (IPQ-R). Psychology and Health 17, 1-16.

Powe, B. D. (1995). Fatalism among elderly African Americans. Effects on colorectal cancer screening. Cancer Nursing 18, 385-392.

Rogers, R. W. (1975). A protection motivation theory of fear appeals and attitude change. Journal of Psychology 91, 93-114.

Rogers, R. W. (1983). Cognitive and physiological processes in fear appeals and attitude change: a revised theory of protection motivation. In Social Psychophysiology: A sourcebook, (ed. J. T. Cacioppo and R. E. Petty), pp. 153-176. The Guildford Press: New York.

Rosenstock, I. M. (1974). Historical origins of the health belief model. Health Education Monographs 2, 1-8.

Weinman, J., Petrie, K. J., Moss-Morris, R. & Horne, R. (1996). The Illness Perceptions Questionnaire: A new method for assessing the cognitive representation of illness. Psychology and Health 11, 431-445.

Weinstein, N. D. (2000). Perceived probability, perceived severity, and health-protective behavior. Health Psychology 19, 65-74.

Witte, K. (1992). Putting the fear back into fear appeals: the Extended Parallel Process Model. Communication Monographs 59, 329-349.

Witte, K. (1998). Fear as motivator, fear as inhibitor: using the extended parallel process model to explain fear appeal successes and failures. In Handbook of Communication and Emotion: Research, Theory, Applications and Contexts, (ed. P. A. Andersen and L. K. Guerrero), pp. 423-449. Academic Press: San Diego.

Witte, K., Cameron, K. A., McKeon, J. K. & Berkowitz, J. M. (1996). Predicting risk behaviors: development and validation of a diagnostic scale. Journal of Health Communication 1, 317-341.

<< Previous

Search | Help | Contact Us | Accessibility | Privacy Policy

DCCPSNational Cancer Institute Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

Health Behavior Constructs: Theory, Measurement, & Research