Trankle, SA & Haw, J 2009, 'Predicting Australian health behaviour from health beliefs', Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 9-17.
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The current study utilised two measures of health beliefs to predict health behaviour. Christensen, Moran and Wiebe (1999) developed the Irrational Health Belief Scale (IHBS) as an alternative to the more traditionally and widely used scales from the Health Belief Model (HBM). The IHBS has not previously been compared with a scale from the HBM in a non-clinical population. Furthermore, unlike the HBM, the IHBS has not been tested on a population outside North America. In the present study, 157 Australian university students (131 females and 26 males, mean age 21.9 years) completed both scales along with other scales measuring control variables of personality, locus of control and affect. The Personal Lifestyle Questionnaire (PLQ) measured health behaviour. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed that the IHBS could not significantly (p > .05) predict health behaviour while the HBM significantly accounted for 8% of variance in the PLQ. Neuroticism and positive affect were the best predictors of health behaviour, accounting for 19% of variance. Close examination of IHBS items raised doubts regarding construct validity, suggesting the scale requires further development before cross-cultural application.