Journal of Community Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 19–34 | Cite as

Relationships between health protective behaviors

  • John P. Krick
  • Jeffery Sobal


Health protective behaviors are receiving increasing attention for maintaining health and preventing disease. Most research has examined specific health behaviors individually, with relatively few studies of the relationships between many health protective behaviors. This investigation examined how health protective behaviors were related with each other using data from the American Family Report, a survey of a national sample of 1,247 adults in U.S. families. Eighteen health protective behaviors were not all consistently intercorrelated with each other, with only 39% of the correlations significant at p<.001. Factor analysis using oblique rotation revealed six underlying dimensions of health protective behaviors: not smoking, planned exercise, routine exercise, moderate drinking, absence of sedative use, and general health behaviors. These dimensions were associated with sociodemographic variables, particularly with higher education being associated with healthier behavior. The multidimensional nature of health protective behaviors needs to be considered in programs for enhancing prevention and health promotion.


Public Health High Education Health Promotion Health Behavior General Health 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John P. Krick
  • Jeffery Sobal

There are no affiliations available

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