Comparing Theories of Health Behavior Using Data from Longitudinal Studies: a Comment on Gerend and Shepherd
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The publication of Gerend and Shepherd's paper  on HPV vaccine initiation among young adult women marks a rare event in the health behavior theory literature. Despite the eloquent “call to arms” for comparative theory testing by Noar and Zimmerman  and Weinstein and Rothman  over 7 years ago, this most recent effort brings the number of longitudinal studies that test health behavior theories against one another to a grand total of just 11. How is it possible that such a worthy project has been so neglected? Comparative testing of whole theories is both conceptually and procedurally complex, and many researchers may be loath to subject themselves to the intensive data collection and intricate analyses that Gerend and Shepherd have so admirably performed. We would like to suggest an additional strategy for testing the underlying logic of health behavior theories.
Our main concern is the difference between what Darwin in 1857 called the lumpers and the splitters [4, 5]. One can co ...
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- Comparing Theories of Health Behavior Using Data from Longitudinal Studies: a Comment on Gerend and Shepherd
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume 44, Issue 2 , pp 147-148
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- 1. Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
- 2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA