The Application of Health Psychology in Public Health; Developing and Delivering Health Promotion and Behavioural Interventions

Absalom, G. (2011). The Application of Health Psychology in Public Health; Developing and Delivering Health Promotion and Behavioural Interventions. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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Abstract

The objectives of the study were to focus on factors affecting smoking and health and to recognise and explore diversity among different groups of men. The overall aim was to gain a better understanding of men in their decision to continue or to stop smoking and the impact this may have on service provision. Seventeen semi-structured interviews with men were conducted; ten with straight men and seven with gay men. The qualitative data was analysed using grounded theory. The theme that emerged from the data was 'Reducing the potential for cognitive dissonance, caused by the action of smoking, by rationalising, normalising and minimising intrinsic and extrinsic factors and negotiating the sense of self'. These intrinsic factors included rationalising maintenance behaviour through understanding the mechanism of smoking, the availability of the product, the life-stage of the smoker, psychosocial factors and sexuality and rationalising future stopping through life changes, perceived likelihood of success and support services. The extrinsic factors included product choice, meaning of smoking on self, interpretation of health advice, health protective behaviour, their relationship with their body and the impact of legislation. These are negotiated by the image of smoking, the image of the product and masculinity. A definitive difference between the two groups to explain their desire to continue to smoke or to stop smoking was not found. The main factors that emerged and implications for service provision are discussed. The challenge for the men is to transfer an awareness of the potential dangers of smoking to themselves to make them more health conscious in the present and to accept any level of smoking behaviour as problematic.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/11661

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