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Theoretical Framework

HealthSmart is grounded in the Theory of Planned Behavior, which provides the framework for lessons and activities. It essentially says that what people believe—their attitudes toward a given health behavior—as well as the influences around them—the norms they actually see, or (sometimes more powerful) the norms they think are happening—affect their confidence and perception of control over this behavior.Theory of Planned Behavior diagram

When these things support the practice of healthy behaviors, they can build an intention that can lead to positive action. (Click on the image for a larger version of the diagram.)

The theoretical principles woven throughout the lessons and activities increase the likelihood that students will value and practice the healthy behaviors that help prevent excessive morbidity and premature mortality.

Activities within the lessons:

  • Build power to use knowledge when students understand the concepts and functional knowledge needed to practice healthy behaviors.
  • Build power to use skills that support health literacy through modeling and guided practice.
  • Build a personal value for healthy behaviors as students explore health beliefs and the potential outcomes of health choices.
  • Shape healthy peer norms when students understand the healthy actions family and friends support and expect, and when they apply their knowledge of healthy behaviors in advocacy activities.
  • Increase perception of control over their own health choices and behaviors, as students acquire knowledge, develop skills and establish support systems.