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A mixed-method approach to sense of coherence, health behaviors, self-efficacy and optimism: Towards the operationalization of positive health attitudes

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JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
DatePublished - Jun 2010
Issue number3
Volume51
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)246-252
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study discusses the results of a cross-sectional survey of healthy college students in Poland. More specifically, it describes, explores, and explains the relationships between psychological variables/models such as health behaviors (HB), sense of coherence (SOC), level of optimism (LOO), and self-efficacy (SE) among college students. These separate constructs have also been used to operationalize a positive health attitude (PHA) as a novel construct. The social survey was carried out at three higher education institutions in Poland in January 2006. The random sample of 455 undergraduate students was taken from five different faculties: Physiotherapy, Physical Education, Tourism and Recreation, English Philology and Polish Philology. Four reliable and validated research tools were used to collect the data: Juczynsky’s Health Behaviour Inventory (HBI); Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence Questionnaire (SOC-29); Schwarzer & Jerusalem’s Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES); and Seligman’s Scale (SS). The results indicate statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) between these four variables: for example, the healthier health behaviors the stronger the sense of coherence, level of optimism and self-efficacy. It was also demonstrated that LOO, SOC, SE, and HB correlate with one another. Finally, these variables create an explicit empirical-theoretical pattern. All the research results from REGWQ tests, Pearson’s correlation coefficient and cluster analysis suggest the existence of conceptual similarities between these four variables and/or the existence of some broader scientific construct such as PHA. However, this needs to be examined further. These results could be a good indicator for future research among different faculties or age groups.

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