AFFECT AND DECISION-MAKING FOR CANCER-RELATED BEHAVIORS
KIVINIEMI, MARC T Principal Investigator
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Alleviating cancer mortality depends in part on achieving significant changes in behavior. Doing so requires a solid understanding of how and why individuals choose to engage in particular health behaviors. The primary objectives of this Research Career Award are: 1) to enable Dr. Kiviniemi to gain the additional skills and experience needed to become a successful independent cancer prevention and control researcher, and 2) to examine the role of affective associations with cancer-related health behaviors in individuals' health decision-making and behavioral practices. The career training component of the award address four areas: 1) breadth and depth of knowledge of cancer prevention and control; 2) theory and methodology relevant to behavioral decision-making; 3) methods related to field-based data collection, especially multilevel analyses of repeated measures and intra-individual data; and 4) research and statistical methodologies relevant to design and testing of theory based health interventions. The research plan examines the role of affect in decisions about engaging in health behaviors. The central hypothesis is that individuals will be more likely to engage in health behaviors to the extent that they associate positive affect with the behaviors. This central hypothesis will be examined by pursuing research related to three specific aims: 1) examination of affective influences on behavior; 2) development of integrative theoretical models of affective and cognitive processes involved in health decision-making; and 3) development and testing of behavior-change interventions incorporating affective associations with behaviors. These aims will be achieved using a combination of survey, experimental, longitudinal, and intervention studies. This work has the potential to impact both health decision-making research and practical health promotion applications.