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Women, obesity, and weight loss : bridging the intention-behaviour gap


Women, obesity, and weight loss : bridging the intention-behaviour gap

McBrearty, Madeleine (2010) Women, obesity, and weight loss : bridging the intention-behaviour gap. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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While the literature concerning obesity, weight management, and individual health-related behaviour change is considerable, the voices of women who have a lived experience of obesity and weight management are often neglected. The following is a report of a qualitative inquiry conducted to explore the weight loss process through the accounts of five obese women. The purpose of the research was to identify the factors that motivated these women to lose weight and elucidate the biopsychosocial factors that contributed to their engagement in a weight-loss program. A collective case study method was used to engage with the research participants who were in the action phase of a weight loss project, obese women who had effectively bridged the intention-behaviour gap towards weight loss. A narrative approach was used to gather the women's stories. Collected data were coded according to category strings and a grounded theory analytical framework was applied to the coded data. The findings from this inquiry, presented from a relational perspective, suggest that the women went through distinct phases of change: Decision-making, engagement, and action. The factors that influenced decision-making were outcome expectancies, an exacerbating condition, and atypical life events. Once a strong intention to lose weight had been formed, the socio-cognitive variables involved in the engagement process were self-directed intervening actions, self-efficacy, presenting opportunities, social support, program characteristics, and self-regulation. Finally, in addition to the factors that promoted intention formation and initiation, self-efficacy, positive outcomes, and the ability to recover from lapses and maintain the new weight-related behaviours helped the research participants sustain action. The change process issued from women's stories was referenced to the health action process approach (HAPA) and to other psychosocial models of individual health-related behaviour change. The report concludes with a brief discussion of the implications of the research findings for the wellness of obese women and ultimately for the design of health promotion programs geared to addressing issues related to women, body image, and obesity.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:McBrearty, Madeleine
Pagination:[xii], 386 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Thesis Supervisor(s):Gavin, J
Identification Number:LE 3 C66S36P 2010 M33
ID Code:979284
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:09 Dec 2014 17:56
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:12
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