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Understanding sustained behavior change: the role of life crises and the process of reinvention

Ogden, J and Hills, L (2008) Understanding sustained behavior change: the role of life crises and the process of reinvention Health, 12 (4). pp. 419-437.

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Much research has addressed behavior change but has tended to focus on short term changes. This study aimed to explore the mechanisms behind sustained changes in behavior and involved qualitative interviews with 34 `success stories' who had either lost weight through changes in diet and exercise (n = 24) or stopped smoking (n = 10) and had maintained this change for at least 3 years. The results showed that the majority described how their sustained behavior change had been triggered by a significant life crisis relating to their health, relationships or salient milestones. This initial change was then translated into sustained change if three sustaining conditions were met: the function of the unhealthy behavior was disrupted, the individual perceived that their choice over carrying out the unhealthy behavior had been reduced and they adhered to a behavioral model of their problem. Further, these conditions functioned by enabling a process of reinvention with participants showing a shift in identity toward a new healthier self. The results are discussed in terms of self-regulation and the establishment of a new post-crisis healthier equilibrium.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 1 October 2008
Identification Number : 10.1177/1363459308094417
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Social Sciences, Biomedical, Biomedical Social Sciences, behavior change, diet, maintenance, smoking, weight loss, TERM WEIGHT-LOSS, IMPLEMENTATION INTENTIONS, PLANNED BEHAVIOR, LOSS MAINTENANCE, OBESITY SURGERY, SMOKERS, ADHERENCE, ILLNESS, IMPACT, MODEL
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Additional Information : Published in Health 12(4) 2008. Copyright 2008 Sage Publications. This is an electronic version of an article published as Ogden J, Hills L (2008). Understanding sustained behavior change: the role of life crises and the process of reinvention. Health 12(4):419-437 01 Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 Jan 2013 15:54
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:45

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