Setting Multiple Health Behavior Goals: Implications for Prevention

Setting Multiple Health Behavior Goals: Implications for Prevention

A recent study published in Health Psychology (2022) examined the role of goal prioritization in achieving multiple health behavior change. 

Results showed that prioritization interventions were successful in promoting goal priority and led to significantly greater behavior change compared to control conditions. 

Prioritizing two health behavior goals led to increased behavioral performance compared to prioritizing a single goal. 

Goal prioritization did not lead to a decline in rates of performance of nonprioritized behaviors. 

The authors concluded that prioritizing goals is effective in promoting health behavior change. 

This study’s results support Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) programs use of self-selected, multiple health behavior goal setting for participating youth and young adults. 

PPW program goal plans are designed to guide youth to select and set goals to both avoid multiple substance use and choose one or more health-promoting habits to increase, such as physical activity, nutrition, sleep, or stress control. 

This study indicates that prioritizing and setting multiple health behavior goals, like included in PPW programs, can increase behavior change for those goals set and does not harm the achievement of nonprioritized behaviors. 

Read the study abstract: 

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