Social Resources, Health Resources, and Preventive Health Behavior: Patterns and Predictions


Address correpondence to: Pamela Porter Kulbok, RN, DNSc, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, 4940 Audubon, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


This study was designed to test the resource model of preventive health behavior (PHB) that incorporates social and health resources as causes of good health habits. The findings were based on survey data collected in 1979 on a national probability sample of 3,025 adults. Factor analysis was used to construct indexes of PHB and of health. Five PHB factors were regressed on education and income; on three health factors; and on control variables age, sex, and race. The model predicted dental and fitness factors. Higher education and the health factor of better health comparison consistently predicted the PHB factors. It was concluded that several types of PHBs are unrelated to one another and that the causes of these specific PHBs do vary.