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Abstract

Background. Approximately 35% of men in the United States are obese, though little theoretical work examining predictors correlates of obesity exists for this population. The purpose of this study was to test the capacity of Bandura’s social cognitive model of health behavior to account for variance in fruit and vegetable consumption, moderate physical activity, and sleep behavior in overweight and obese men. Methods. Data were collected from overweight and obese men using previously validated questionnaires. Structural equation models were built to examine the direct and indirect effects the social cognitive theory constructs of self-efficacy, outcome expectation, socio-structural factors, and goals on the behaviors under investigation. Results. A total of 305 men participated in this study (Mage=44.52; SD=6.95). Overall fit for the social cognitive models of health behavior were adequate, accounting for 35.0%, 31.2%, and 21.1% of the variance in the fruit and vegetable consumption, moderate physical activity, and sleep behavior correlates, respectively. Self-efficacy had the greatest total effect on fruit and vegetable consumption (βtotal=.500) and sleep behavior (βtotal=.406), while goals has the greatest total effect on moderate physical activity (βtotal=.495). The indirect effects of self-efficacy on the three behaviors demonstrates the relative importance of self-efficacy as a mediator for health behavior change. Discussion. Men are underrepresented in behavioral obesity prevention and treatment research. This study provides support for the social cognitive model of health behavior as a theoretical framework for predicting behaviors hypothesized to protect against and treat obesity in men. Additionally, this study represents the first attempt to model correlates social cognitive constructs on sleep behavior.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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