Archive

Posts Tagged ‘habit change’

Understanding Behavior Change, Action Planning, and Coping Planning: A Review of the Literature

January 13th, 2011 Comments off

Next»

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

The process of behavior change is complex, and involves a variety of factors. These factors include things such as environment, which can drastically affect the behavior change process. For example, going to a busy crowded gym to try a get in shape may eventually discourage you from going as the machines and such are constantly full. Motivation is another important factor when considering behavior change. Having a music instructor whose teaching ability is quite inadequate for example, will decrease motivation in a student to listen to what that teacher has to say. There are various interventions that can be used to assist one in changing behavior. Action and coping planning are two helpful strategies to consider when changing behavior. Action planning being taking charge and putting action into change rather than contemplating it. Coping planning is anticipating how to overcome obstacles during the change process. That is just one of the large varieties of behavioral interventions used in various situations.

Processes of Behavior Change

The changing of a specific behavior whether it is something health related, such as going to the gym on a regular basis, or even improving practicing habits playing an instrument, is a long process. The difference between simply thinking about changing a behavior and acting to change it are farther away than one would think. Varieties of factors are involved in the change process; one of the largest factors is environment. Sniehotta(2009) mentions that despite individual’s being able to make intentional behavior changes, they are largely determined by the constraints and consequences their environment produces. To counteract this, there have been various developments in the area of behavior planning, including new models to go by which can be used to assist an individual in their quest for behavior change.
One of these models that are relatively well known is the transtheoretical model (Armitage, 2009). This model can help “predict, explain, and ultimately change health behavior (Armitage, 2009)” through variety components. These consist of fourteen points that are split up in to three sub-categories. They are: stages of change, dependent variables, and independent variables. While all three are significant, stages of change has been looked at far more than the other stages to the point where it’s not worth mentioning them. Stages of change consist of precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance (Prochaska, et al, 1994). Each stage follows after the other, going from thinking about change, preparing to change, taking action, and then maintaining that change. Various studies have used this model to prove its worth, most notably in changing poor health behaviors. In one study by Herzog and Blagg (2007), they used the model to assist smokers in changing their habits, and found positive results along with the smokers having an increase in motivation to quit throughout the program.
Urte et. Al. (2008) mention two main focuses of behavior change. These are action planning and coping planning. After an individual has the intention to change, they go through the volitional stage, which is the short stage between the intentions becoming changed into action. Once this transition is made one can progress into the action and coping planning stages. In action planning the “when, where, and how (Urte et al. 2008 pg481)” is determined, somewhat similar to the transtheoretical models stages of change. This involves setting rigid goals, such as “I will study for four hours tonight” with no escapes from the plan. This format of goal setting will lead one to change their behavior easier with no leniency in their routines. However, it has been shown that while action planning may be quite effective with changing simple behaviors, changing complex lifelong behaviors may prove difficult or unsuccessful in certain cases.
Coping planning is used for overcoming unplanned and expected obstacles in the behavior change process. An example of this may be that the weather outside is unsuitable for running so I may go run in a gym instead. This type of planning keeps potential planning mishaps from happening, and promotes the maintenance of that behavior. Once action planning is started, after a period of a few months coping tends to take over as the main plan and keeps one on track to their goal or maintaining it.

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

Next»

Understanding Behavior Change, Action Planning, and Coping Planning: A Review of the Literature (Part 2)

January 13th, 2011 Comments off

«PrevNext»

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

Urte et al. (2008) did an on-line study with 354 participants to test whether action and coping planning can be used to predict change in physical activity, and the maintenance of that activity. They found that they could predict behavior change using that model just as previous studies have shown.
One of the biggest problems with changing a behavior is maintaining it. Russel Bray(2010) state that up to 50% of participants in a cardiovascular program designed to improve their health drop out within the first few months, with up to 80% stopping completely after a year. Those numbers are startling, especially considering that using such a health program is not temporary, but should be considered a lifelong change. The fact that some can so easily quit a life changing intervention program can create a lot of problems for researchers developing such programs.
One such behavioral change theory is the self-determination theory. This theory organizes motivation into two categories. These are controlled and self-determined motivation. Controlled motivation can be described as a reward and punish system. Going to the gym, one would see the physical results it produces serving as a reward for exercising that day. On the other hand, having the time to go to the gym, but simply not going out of sheer laziness can serve as a psychological punishment. This type of motivation could also include praise from others, such as a music instructor or personal trainer. Self-determined motivation seems obvious, and indeed it is; this would be your own motivation coming from the self to promote whatever change it may be. For example, when changing a health behavior, such as going to the gym, one knows that it will improve their physical and mental health in a variety of ways, therefore motivating them internally to continue with that change. Russel Bray (2010), continue to state that for such motivating factors to be prevalent, and to avoid such mishaps as people dropping out of an exercise program, there must some environmental modification. They state that using principles such as social support or specific environmental conditions can significantly promote consistent and lifelong behavior changes.
On a different note, Webb, et al. (2009) did a study on using cognitive-behavioral therapy to help African-American smokers quit smoking. They mention that African-Americans in particular suffer from more frequent lung problems than do in comparison with other races, hence why their study involved that race. The cognitive behavior therapy used consisted of four main points: “coping skills training, problem focused coping, behavioral contracting, and relapse prevention strategies. ”
With this type of behavioral intervention, it focuses on convincing participants through self-motivation to help them cure themselves of a behavior, in this case smoking. Using this strategy they would be able to control smoking urges overtime, eventually being able to stop smoking entirely. Their control group was based off of general health education. The results showed that cognitive-behavioral interventions taught were still maintained after a 6 month follow up with 31% of participants as compared to 14% of participants in the control group, quite a significant difference. To conclude, there are a vast variety of behavioral changing interventions out, the previous examples are quite common interventions; yet there are many more which are continuously being researched and applied.
References
Armitage, C. (2009). Is there utility in the transtheoretical model? British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2), 195-210.
Michie, Susan; Hardeman, Wendy; Fanshawe, Tom; Prevost, A. Toby; Taylor, Lyndsay; Kinmonth, Louise. Psychology Health, Jan2008, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p25-39, 15.
Russell, Kelly L. Bray, Steven R. (2010). Promoting Self-Determined Motivation for Exercise in Cardiac Rehabilitation: The Role of Autonomy Support. Rehabilitation Psychology. Vol. 55, No. 1, p 74-80.
Scholz, U. Schüz, B. Ziegelmann, J. Lippke, S. Schwarzer, R. (2008). Beyond behavioural intentions: Planning mediates between intentions and physical activity. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13(3), 479-494.
Sniehotta, F. (2009). Towards a theory of intentional behaviour change: Plans, planning, and self-regulation. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14(2), 261-273.

Webb, M. S. de Ybarra, D. Baker, E. A. Reis, I. M. Carey, M. P. (2010). Cognitive- behavioral therapy to promote smoking cessation among African American smokers: A randomized clinical trial.

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

«PrevNext»

Understanding Behavior Change, Action Planning, and Coping Planning: A Review of the Literature (Part 3)

January 13th, 2011 Comments off

«Prev

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 24-33.

 |  [Part1] |  [Part2] |  [Part3] | 

«Prev