Factors of nutritional health-seeking behaviors: Findings from the Georgia centenarian study

Mary Ellen Quinn, Mary Ann Johnson, Leonard W. Poon, Peter Martin, Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health-seeking behaviors are described by Harris and Guten (1979) as any behavior of an individual that promotes, protects, or maintains one's health, regardless of actual or perceived health status. The purpose of this study was to determine if nutritional health-seeking behavior (Bausell, 1986) comprised one or more factors for older adults (N = 256). Participants were in their 60s (n = 90), 80s (n = 91), and 100+ (n = 75). Exploratory factor analysis indicated that nutritional health-seeking behavior items formed two factors: avoid (i.e., avoiding unhealthy nutritional behavior) and seek (i.e., attempting or seeking healthy nutritional behavior). Multiple regression analysis revealed that risk factors for poor nutritional health- seeking behaviors in older adults include advanced age, low economic resources, and male gender. Protective factors included the personality factors of self-discipline, enthusiasm, sensitivity, and warmth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-104
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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