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Are happier people, healthier people? The relationship between perceived happiness, personal control, BMI and health preventive behaviours

Cook, E; Chater, A; (2010) Are happier people, healthier people? The relationship between perceived happiness, personal control, BMI and health preventive behaviours. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education , 48 (2) pp. 58-64. 10.1080/14635240.2010.10708183.

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Abstract

Background: This study aimed to identify the extent to which levels of happiness and self-efficacy could predict preventive health behaviours and BMI. Method: Data was collected from 100 adults (59% female), mean age 24.75 years, measuring happiness, generalised self-efficacy beliefs, BMI, health preventive behaviours, age and gender. Findings: Results indicate that both happiness and generalised self efficacy are salient for health preventive behaviours, explaining 20% and 26% of the variance respectively. Relationships were also noted whereby generalised self efficacy (r = -.16,p =.05) and happiness (r = -16,p <.05)both negatively correlated with BMI. Finally, post hoc analysis revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between happiness and generalised self-efficacy (r =.57,p <.001). Conclusion: Evidence presented here suggests that happiness and high self-efficacy beliefs can significantly enhance health protective behaviours. Moreover, those who express higher levels of happiness, also exhibit higher levels of self efficacy and have a lower BMI. Suggestions are made to tailor health promotion campaigns towards enhancing mood and personal control beliefs.

Type: Article
Title: Are happier people, healthier people? The relationship between perceived happiness, personal control, BMI and health preventive behaviours
DOI: 10.1080/14635240.2010.10708183
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1368567
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