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Perceived Goal Ownership, Regulatory Goal Cognition, and Health Behavior Change

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Objective : To investigate the links among perceived goal ownership, regulatory goal cognition, and health behavior change.

Methods : A sample of 390 college students completed measures of (a) perceived goal ownership for a goal related to a health behavior that they, their dating partner, or both were seeking to change, (b) 9 aspects of regulatory goal cognition, and (c) health behavior change.

Results : As compared to participants with self-set and joint-set goals, participants with partner-set goals reported less adaptive regulatory goal cognition and were less likely to report positive changes in health behavior.

Conclusion : Efforts to change dating partner's health behaviors should be framed as joint-set goals.

Keywords: goals; health behaviors; self-regulation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

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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