Background.: This article describes the association of external and psychosocial factors with the stages of change for moderate-intensity physical activity among individuals with generally low socioeconomic positions. Methods.: A self-administered questionnaire among individuals aged 18-65 years (response rate 60%, n = 2781) in deprived neighborhoods in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, was conducted in September 2000. To identify factors associated with stages of change an ordinal logistic regression model, the "Threshold of Change model (TCM)", was used to analyze the data. Results.: Thirty-six percent of the respondents were in the pre-action stages, 15% was in action and 49% in maintenance. Individuals who were, older, lower educated, had low health locus of control, had less knowledge of physical activity issues, and presented other risky health behaviors, were more likely to be in a lower stage of change category. A positive attitude, high self-efficacy expectations, perceiving the physical activity level of others as high, and much social support were associated with the higher stages of change categories. Conclusion.: The distribution across the stages of change supports the need to improve physical activity behavior in these deprived neighborhoods. Interventions need to be tailored to the psychosocial, and the external factors that are likely to play a role in the behavioral change process.

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Preventive Medicine
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Kloek, G., van Lenthe, F., van Nierop, P., Schrijvers, C., & Mackenbach, J. (2006). Stages of change for moderate-intensity physical activity in deprived neighborhoods. Preventive Medicine, 43(4), 325–331. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2006.05.003