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Abstract

Persons with disabilities have been largely overlooked in investigations of health and health behaviors. The primary purpose of this descriptive correlational study was to examine the usefulness of Pender's (1987) Health Promotion Model in explaining the occurrence of health-promoting behaviors among adults with disabilities. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to analyze questionnaire responses from a sample of 117 adults with disabilities. Adults with disabilities were more likely to engage in a health-promoting lifestyle if they had higher specific self-efficacy for health behaviors, higher general self-efficacy, a wellness-oriented definition of health, required less mechanical assistance, and were female. Findings from this study suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing health promotion behaviors among persons with disabilities would be strengthened by addressing perceived ability to master situations, particularly the ability to successfully carry out health-promoting behaviors.