GOAL ORIENTATIONS IN THE HEALTH BEHAVIOR DOMAIN
 
Athanasios, P., Alexandros, S. and Eumorfia, M., Aristotle university of Thessaloniki, Greece
 
A theory of goal orientations in the health behavior domain is presented. The study assessed four goal orientations in the following domains: (1) health risk behavior, (2) health enhancing behavior (3) any human action at any life domain (global level of generality). After 5 pilot studies involving more than 1000 adolescents, a questionnaire consisted of 84 items was developed. This instrument was administered to 1154 Greek adolescents aged 17+1. One month later these youngsters reported their health risk (smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, driving without license, violent behavior) and health enhancing (exercise, eating fruits, teeth brushing) behaviors during the last month. Factor analysis on adolescents' responses to the 84 items revealed 12 factors, each of them containing 7 items with high loadings. For all factors the alpha reliability was over .80. These factors implied personal development, ego strengthening, ego protection and social approval goal orientations in the health risk and health enhancing behavior domains and at the global level of generality (generally in life). The personal development goal factors were positive predictors of health enhancing behaviors and negative predictors of health risk behaviors. The ego strengthening goal factors were positive predictors of health risk behaviors and negative predictors of health enhancing behaviors. The ego protection and social approval factors in the health risk domains were positive predictors of health risk behaviors. These findings support the conceptualization of goal orientations in the health behavior domain.