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Norms and Their Relationship to Behavior in Worksite Settings: An Application of the Jackson Return Potential Model

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Objectives: To measure health norms and assess their influence on behavior among 2541 employees in 16 manufacturing worksites using an adapted Jackson's Return Potential Model (RPM). Methods: Worksite-level norm intensity, crystallization, and normative power were calculated for several behaviors; linear regression analyses tested whether normative power was related to each health behavior. Results: Norms about safe work practices and smoking were most intense; norms about safe work practices were most crystallized. Safe work practices and smoking held the highest normative power; healthy eating held the least normative power. Conclusions: Comparing norm characteristics across health behaviors leads to important leverage points for intervening to influence norms and improve worker health.

Keywords: health norms; health promotion; occupational health; worksite health

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, School of Public Health, Chapel Hill NC 2: Centre for the Study of Health & Society, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, AUSTRALIA 3: Center for Statistical Analysis & Research, New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA 4: Harvard School of Public Health and Center for Community Cancer Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston MA

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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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