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Social and Behavioral Theories

4. Important Theories and Their Key Constructs

Social Cognitive Theory

Reciprocal Determinism


This core construct is also central to social ecological models and is more important today than ever before.

Self-efficacy, or a person’s confidence in his or her ability to take action and to persist in that action despite obstacles or challenges, is especially important for influencing health behavior change efforts.

Reciprocal Determinism

The key Social Cognitive Theory construct of reciprocal determinism means that a person can be both an agent for change and a responder to change. Thus, changes in the environment, the examples of role models, and reinforcements can be used to promote healthier behavior.

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