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Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 303–323 | Cite as

Efficacy of a self-directed behavioral health change program: Weight, body composition, cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, health risk, and psychosocial mediating variables

  • P. Andrew Clifford
  • Siang -Yang Tan
  • Richard L. Gorsuch
Article

Abstract

This study assessed the efficacy of a comprehensive behavioral health program designed to promote self-initiated change in overweight healthy middle-aged adults (M=49 years). Three treatment groupss (total n=25) differing in type of social support provided (i.e., group plus professional versus group plus peer versus group only) received 13 treatment sessions and 6 maintenance sessions scheduled over a full year. A self-directed change intervention taught several cognitive-behavioral techniques as they applied to exercise adherence, weight reduction/maintenance, and stress management. Combined treatment groups (n=25) improved significantly more than an assessment only control group (n=9) in weight, percentage body fat, cardiovascular fitness, exercise adherence, health-risk appraisal, chronic tension (MBHI, scale A), and systolic and diastolic blood pressure at both post-treatment and 6-month follow-up assessments. Self-motivation, group treatment attendance, and health-risk appraisal significantly related (r's=.30–.56) to several posttreatment and follow-up measures of behavioral health change. No significant differences were found among the three treatment groups on any of the outcome measures.

Key words

behavioral health self-directed change weight loss body composition cardiovascular fitness 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Andrew Clifford
    • 1
  • Siang -Yang Tan
    • 1
  • Richard L. Gorsuch
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological SeminaryPasadena

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