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Toward Health Promotion: Physical and Social Behaviors in Complete Health

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Objective: To examine the effects of physical and social behaviors on “complete health.” Methods: “Complete health” was constructed from measures of physical and mental health collected through the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS; n=3032). Multinomial regression models examined the association of complete health with physical and social behaviors. Results: The odds of complete health were greatest among those who exercised, never smoked, attended church regularly, and had frequent contact with friends. Some “social” behaviors exerted effects comparable to “physical” behaviors. Conclusions: Interventions targeting social behaviors may yield similar gains to complete health as physical behaviors.
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Keywords: complete health; health behaviors; lifestyle; optimal health; social behaviors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. 2: Department of Sociology and Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Publication date: 2004-03-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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