Application of the Models to a Health Issue

Integrative Behavioral Model

The integrated behavioral model has another four factors that contribute to the behavior of certain individuals. In a health issue, such as reducing stress in pregnant mothers, these factors all play a role in the stress level of a mother. When considering the factors of Knowledge and Skills to Perform the Behavior, even if there is a positive intention for a behavior to occur, it is still possible that the individual does not have the necessary knowledge and assistance to perform that behavior. For our example with pregnant women, they may have established the purpose to minimize their stress level during their pregnancy, but they may not know how to do that. Even if they do find a tool or action that they know reduces stress, they may not know how to perform those actions. This lack of knowledge and skills can lead to pregnant women not performing the behavior.

Continuing with the previous example on pregnant women, the salience of behavior factor is important because if a pregnant woman does not know the importance of doing a certain behavior, even if she intends to do it, the probability that she won’t get it done increases. If a pregnant mother wants to keep her stress level low during her pregnancy, her intentions and desire to keep herself and her health in check throughout the nine months’ increases. Maternal stress can lead to different types of health defects for the fetus. If a mother does not know these negative effects and how important controlling stress is in order to prevent them, she will most likely not take the extra steps that are needed to perform stress reducing behaviors.

The Environmental constraints factor can be a part of the physical or social environment. Sometimes challenges come up that limit our ability to do what we had intended. A pregnant mother may understand the importance of exercise as a stress reducer. The mother may have perfectly good behavior intentions, but a weather event like a thunder or snow storm would negatively affect her ability to go outside for some exercise. Pregnant mothers who live in poor neighborhoods may experience more obstacles in their lives, such as violence. This could affect the mother’s aspiration to go outside to exercise.

Finally, habit is the fourth factor added to the IBM. When trying to start a new behavior, sometimes remembering the action of actually performing it can be difficult because it is not part of an existing daily routine. Even though the intentions to perform a behavior can exist, a habit from the past or not ever executing the new behavior could prevent an individual from the performance of that behavior. Going back to our example, pregnant mothers could struggle to get into a regular exercise routine in order to reduce stress. They either may not be used to exercising or they may have a routine that reduces the chances of her exercising. The factors of IBM must work together in order to be successful. During program intervention is when this is especially true, each of the four factors can affect if a behavior will occur or not. Addressing one, two, or three of those factors can still lead to the failure of performing the behavior.