Interpersonal health behavior

Interpersonal health behavior



Interpersonal Interactions

Interpersonal Interactions

Web of Relationships

Shapes a person’s cognitions, beliefs, emotions, & feelings


Interactions with family, friends, & coworkers influences social support, access to information, and social capital



Interpersonal Interactions
















Social Networks

Provides intimacy, companionship, and enhances well- being and health


Provides resources to cope with illness or identify and solve problems

Increasing contacts, discovering new information, and gaining access to community resources produces a sense of personal control over specific situations




Social Networks

Provides resource mobilization: helping people cope with stressors

Example: cancer support group


Provides motivation to maintain healthy habits

Example: Exercise buddy, quit smoking partner



Social Networks

Dynamic and complex


Influences of social networks can be positive or negative

Example: Friends may model:

Exercising, healthy eating, or recycling

Excessive drinking, reckless driving, or violence




Social Networks

Absence of a network is harmful, yet at some point more ties doesn’t equal more benefits


Strong ties are good, yet weaker ties can offer new information and contacts


Not all members of a social network are equally effective at offering support





Enhance existing networks

Develop new networks

Identify natural helpers/community members who can link other community members to resources they need

Build community capacity to solve problems

Example: community members create groups to address health and safety concerns e.g.; MADD



Social Networking

Facebook, Twitter, Intsa, TikTok, etc.

Influences members beliefs and behaviors

Online support groups connect people across the world



Stress, Coping, and Health Behavior

Interpersonal interactions and communications


Positive and negative effects on health



Interrelated theories

Primary appraisal

Personal susceptibility and severity

Transactional Model of Stress and Coping

Health Belief Model


Active coping efforts

Related to self-efficacy construct





This is an example of how you can use theories together to address issues. For appraising the issue, you can look at models such as the HBM. Then to actively work towards building coping skills and mechanisms, you can move to TTM or the SCT.


Stress and Coping

Information seeking – an effort to reduce or manage uncertainty and reduce distress.

Monitors: active seekers

Blunters: avoid information


Data suggest information seekers have higher SES, higher levels of physical activity, and a healthier diet.


Relationship between physical health and functioning.


Community level violence associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms.


Discrimination may have indirect and direct pathways to negative health outcomes due to low-SES conditions, greater exposure to stressors, internalized racism, and subjective experiences.



Interpersonal Communication and Health

Interpersonal communication may contribute to individual health.




Clinician-patient communication

Direct effect on health

Indirect effect through proximal outcomes such as understanding, trust, and satisfaction

Intermediate outcomes such as health behaviors, adherence, and decision making.


Physician-patient relationship

Key functions: fostering relationship, exchanging and managing information, validating and managing emotions, managing uncertainty, and decision making.


Moderator variables: health literacy, social distance, physician attitude toward patients, patient preferences for roles, and external environment.




Interpersonal Health Behavior may be influenced by friends, family members, co-workers, health care workers and others.

Using key individuals (i.e.; natural helpers) to implement interventions represents a practical strategy to improve health outcomes.

Interpersonal communication and health can be enhanced by utilizing theory i.e.; SCT, Social Networks, & Social Support.