If this might indeed be the case, then why would we expect practitioners to want to use these theories when they really don’t answer the right-here-right- now questions practitioners have? For example, if a health educator wonders, “How can I help Ms. Smith manage her diabetes, given the small retirement income she manages and the large family she always says “comes first”?” then the answers provided by health behavior theories such as “increase Ms. Smith’s self-efficacy” (Bandura, 1997) and “increase her perception of the severity of diabetes” (Champion and Skinner, 2008) are totally irrelevant. Actually, if the health educator is not careful, focusing on these “scientific” answers can do more harm than good. Because Ms. Smith’s context (low income, large family and her place within this family network) seems to shape her health problems, intervention attempts to increase self-efficacy or perceived severity of the disease may only contribute to enhancing Ms. Smith’s anxiety and guilt (Becker, 1993). The practitioner’s intervention-if he or she is concerned about applying one size fits all health behavior theories to develop her educational program-may transform Ms. Smith from a “person at risk” into an “anxious person at risk” contributing to exacerbate what has been dubbed an “epidemic of apprehension” (Becker, 1993).
(Goodson, 2010, p. 15)
·· Discuss an example of when either you (keep in mind, i am not from the USA) the educator has been well-meaning, but ended up causing more harm because you adhered to a theory OR can you recall when you have seen that done? I always think about the Reagan administration “Just Say No to Drugs and Alcohol” campaign. Unfortunately, it came with little or no instruction, so young people were left with the message that they were to refuse these things, but not given the tools to do it.
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