2nd Edition

Health Behavior Change Theories, Methods and Interventions

    460 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    460 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The new and updated edition of Health Behavior Change: Theories, Methods and Interventions, provides a complete understanding of health behavior change, from its theoretical building blocks to the practical challenges of developing and testing an intervention. Based on the latest evidence in the field, the authors present a theory-driven, scientific approach to understanding and changing health behaviors, examining the theories that explain health behavior, the techniques that most effectively change health behavior, and the methods and statistical approaches essential to generating the underpinning evidence. This approach is presented in the context of both health promoting behaviors such as healthy eating, and health risk behaviors such as smoking, and considers not only the role of individuals but also other important influences on health behavior including the environment, policy, and technology.

    Among other additions, the revised edition includes the following features:

    • More classic and modern theories explained and critiqued
    • Coverage of issues related to tackling COVID-19 through behavior change
    • Consideration of the replicability crisis, its causes, impact and potential solutions
    • Wider coverage of methods including different types of randomized trials, pilot studies, feasibility studies, consensus methods, N-of-1 studies and megastudies
    • Expanded critical skills toolkit

    Fostering a critical perspective, the book includes features to enable readers to better evaluate evidence and Burning Issue Boxes to highlight relevant, topical issues in the field. It will be essential reading for students and researchers of health psychology, public health and social work, as well as any professional working in this important area, particularly those tasked with reducing the high proportion of individuals failing to meet national health behavior targets.

    1. Introduction. 2. Theory. 3. Behavior Change Techniques. 4. Theory-Based Interventions. 5. The Methodology of Health Behavior Change. 6. Analysing Health Behavior Change Data. 7. Behavior Change Through Targeting Mechanisms of Action: Health Promotion, Risk and Detection Behaviors. 8. Environment and Policy-Based Approaches to Health Behavior Change. 9. Technology-Based Approaches to Health Behavior Change. 10. Future Directions.


    Andrew Prestwich is a Senior Lecturer in Health & Social Psychology at the University of Leeds, UK. His research examines the impact of theory-based interventions on health behavior. He has previously held posts at the University of Oxford, University of Essex and University College London.

    Jared Kenworthy is Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, USA. His research concerns social categorization and social influence in group processes, as well as intergroup relations and prejudice reduction. He was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford.

    Mark Conner is Professor of Applied Social Psychology at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on understanding and changing health behaviors with a focus on the role of affect, attitudes, and intentions. He has published over 300 papers and edited a number of books in this area.

    "With cutting-edge information and critiques of theories and techniques of behaviour change, and methods of collecting and analysing data, this important go-to book is for all those wanting to understand, practise or teach the science of changing behaviour, especially in relation to health."

    Susan Michie, Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change, UCL

    "Prestwich, Kenworthy and Conner have given the field a delightful gift – a thorough and thoroughly accessible soup-to-nuts look at the complexity of health behavior change. Their volume gives the reader all of the important facets of the behavior change conundrum – how to measure and intervene on relevant constructs, where those constructs fit in both conventional and newer theories, and how to consider the many environmental and contextual factors that are often just as if not more influential. This volume is one-stop-shopping for the student or health professional who wants a contemporary summary of all there is to know about theories of and approaches to health behavior change."

    William Klein, Associate Director of Behavioral Research, National Cancer Institute

    "What changes behaviour? How good are internet-based interventions? Do worry and rumination change behaviour? How can we reduce risk of bias in an experimental study? What is the right sample size? How do I quickly find useful literatures? These are just a few of the myriad questions this timely, authoritative compendium addresses that should prove indispensable to students, teachers and researchers alike."

    Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Behavioural Scientist, University of Cambridge

    "This book provides an excellent overview of various psychological constructs, mechanisms, and intervention approaches that can be used to modify health behaviors. The book covers a broad range of health promotion strategies and behavior change techniques, including those that leverage technology, environment, and health policy. The book is considered a cornerstone of information because it provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the field, making it essential reading for students and researchers alike. Novice researchers can benefit from the book's clear explanations and practical examples, while seasoned researchers can use it as a reference tool to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field. 

    By addressing a range of health promotion strategies and behavior change techniques, the book offers readers a broad understanding of how to modify health behaviors effectively. The inclusion of technology, environment, and health policy also highlights the importance of considering these factors when designing interventions. 

    Overall, the book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding and modifying health behaviors. It provides a wealth of information on various approaches to behavior change and offers practical guidance on how to design and implement effective interventions."

    Prof. Dr. Ralf Schwarzer, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

    "I highly recommend the 2nd edition of this book to students and researchers interested in the psychology of health behaviour change. The authors have done an excellent job in providing an overview of the various personal, social, cultural, environmental, policy, and technological factors that influence engagement in (or avoidance of) a variety of health behaviours. I particularly like the discussion of key questions in the form of "Burning Issue Boxes". These boxes, in conjunction with the emphasis on critical skills toolkits, the overview of a wide array of methodologies as well as analytical choices for health behaviour change data, should equip the readers of this book with important critical skills to evaluate the evidence underpinning the various theories outlined in the book. I also very much like the focus on contemporary issues, such as the replicability crisis and potential solutions, the impact of COVID-19 on health behaviours, and the interface between health behaviours and climate change. This second edition is a very valuable resource for anyone interested in health psychology and behavioural science."

    Nikos Ntoumanis, Professor of Motivation Science, University of Southern Denmark