Promoting positive behaviours and self-image

Chudley Werch describes an image-based intervention for preventing substance abuse and promoting healthy habits

MOST TEENAGERS ARE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE multiple, co-occurring risk behaviours detrimental to their physical and mental health and personal development, and the combination of these behaviours can exacerbate health risks. However, although there are a plethora of effective interventions for preventing risk behaviours, the majority of evidence-based programmes target a single behaviour (eg, cigarette smoking) or behaviour category (eg, substance abuse). There are also many programmes shown to promote health-enhancing habits, but again these tend to focus on one area, such as physical activity or healthy eating.

What we know
● The majority of teenagers experience multiple co-occurring risk behaviours.
● The Behavior-Image Model (BIM) can be used to plan brief programmes addressing both health risk and health-enhancing habits by targeting positive teenage images.
● SPORT is a brief single-session imagebased programme based on BIM.
● We have shown that SPORT can prevent and reduce substance abuse, while increasing physical activity among teenagers.

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Published

June 2012