The Health Orientation Scale (HOS)

Author of Tool: 

Snell, W. E., Jr., Johnson, G., Lloyd, P. J., & Hoover, W.

Key references: 

Snell, W. E., Jr., Johnson, G., Lloyd, P. J., & Hoover, W. (1991).  The development and validation of the Health Orientation Scale:  A measure of psychological tendencies associated with health. European Journal of Personality, 5, 169-183.

Primary use / Purpose: 

A measure of personality tendancies towards physical health, or health orientiation.

Background: 

In recent years a number of investigators have begun to examine the impact of people's personality tendencies on their physical health. The Health Orientation Scale (HOS) is an objective self-report measure of several health-related personality features: private health consciousness, defined as the tendency to be highly aware of and to think about one's physical health-fitness; health image concern, defined as the tendency to be highly aware of the external, observable impression that one's physical health makes on others; health anxiety, defined as the tendency to be anxious and nervous about one's physical health-fitness; health esteem-confidence, defined as a generalized tendency to positively evaluate and to feel confident about one's physical health; motivation to avoid unhealthiness, defined as the motivation and desire to avoid being in a state of unhealthiness; motivation for healthiness, defined as the motivational tendency and desire to keep oneself in great physical health; internal health control, defined as the tendency to believe that one's physical health and fitness is a direct function of one's own behaviors and actions; external health control, defined as the tendency to believe that one's health status is determined by uncontrollable factors factors external to oneself; health expectations, defined as the tendency to expect that one's health will be excellent and positive in the future; and health status, defined as the tendency to regard oneself as being currently well-exercised and in good physical shape.

Psychometrics: 

Reliability analysis provided evidence of internal consistency for the subscales on the Health Orientation Scale (HOS). Other results indicated that both gender and age jointly influenced people's responses to the Health Orientation Scale. A final set of results revealed that the personality variables measured by the Health Orientation Scale were predictive of women's and men's compliance with actual health-promoting behaviors. 

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