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A Cluster Analytic Study of Osteoprotective Behavior in Undergraduates

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Objective: To derive an empirical taxonomy of osteoprotective stages using the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM) and to identify the predisposing factors associated with each stage. Methods: An anonymous survey was completed by 504 undergraduates at a Midwestern public university. Results: Cluster analytic findings indicate that only 2 osteoprotective stages exist in young adults: less engaged and engaged. These two groups were best distinguished by health motivation, sex, a perceived barrier to exercise, and exercise self-efficacy. Conclusion: Fine-grained stages of osteoprotective behavior are not apparent in young adults, suggesting that the PAPM may not be useful for explaining the adoption of osteoporosis precautions.

Keywords: bone health; cluster analysis; college students; osteoporosis; precaution adoption process model

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Health Promotion Program, Kent State University, Kent, OH.

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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