Development and validation of the Proactive Health Lifestyle measures

Norma Jean Perez, University of Rhode Island


This research project targets the three leading causes of death in the U.S., cardiovascular disease, cancer, and stroke through the successful development and validation of six culturally sensitive Proactive Healthy Lifestyle measures (Stage of Change, Decisional Balance, Self-Efficacy, Skills, Relapse, and Processes of Change) targeting diet, exercise, and smoking. 574 college students were recruited and completed self-report surveys. Data from 418 non-Hispanics was used to develop (N = 209) and validate (N = 209) each of the measures. Data from 155 Hispanics was used to further successfully validate the measures, and explore differences in this group with the non-Hispanic group. Hispanics and non-Hispanics were found to respond similarly to the Pros, Self-Efficacy, Skills, Relapse, and Processes of Change measures across the Stages of Change. The only difference found was Hispanics endorsing more Cons than non-Hispanics. Further analysis explored the Proactive Healthy Lifestyle with diet, exercise, and smoking Stages of Change. Stage distribution of the integrated Proactive Healthy Lifestyle and the single behaviors' (diet, exercise, and smoking) were remarkably similar in both the Hispanic and non-Hispanic samples. Number of risks, for diet, exercise, and smoking, and stage of a proactive healthy lifestyle found individuals with more risks tended to be in the earlier stages of change for a proactive healthy lifestyle and those with fewer risks in the later stages. The stage for each behavior was compared to the stage for a proactive healthy lifestyle and found diet more likely to drive change in the early stages of change and exercise in the later stages. Smoking was not found to drive more change at any particular stage. These results lend strong support for the need to develop culturally sensitive measures which can then inform the development of culturally sensitive tailored interventions able to influence change in both populations. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Norma Jean Perez, "Development and validation of the Proactive Health Lifestyle measures" (2004). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3160035.