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Social and Behavioral Theories 1. Learning Objectives After reviewing this chapter, readers should be able to: • Define what theory is and identify two key types of social and behavioral science theory that are relevant to public health interventions. • Describe the key constructs of four theories that are often used in public health interventions: the Health Belief Model, The Transtheoretical Model and stages of change, Social Cognitive Theory, and the Social Ecological Model. • Understand the nature of evidence about the relative effectiveness of theory-based interventions. • Identify the most important considerations in choosing the right theory to address a health behavior problem in a particular population and context. 2. Introduction • The most successful public health programs and initiatives are based on an understanding of health behaviors and the context in which they occur. Therefore, interventions to improve health behavior can be best designed with an understanding of rele...