Associations of positive and negative affect on health risk behaviors among Latinos.

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Social Work


Objective: Negative affect is widely emphasized in behavior modification interventions. However, positive affect is associated with smoking cessation, physical activity, and healthy dietary habits and may be an important treatment target. Few studies have examined the relationship between positive affect and health behaviors among Latinos, who disproportionately experience modifiable health risk behaviors. This study examined the independent associations of positive affect and negative affect on modifiable health risk behaviors among Latino adults.

Method: Data came from 432 persons who participated in one of two studies examining determinants of modifiable health risk behaviors among Latino adults. Primary outcomes were current smoking, at-risk drinking, insufficient physical activity, and insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption. Predictors were positive and negative affect as measured by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. Associations between positive and negative affect and health risk behaviors were examined using multiple logistic regression.

Results: Positive affect was associated with lower odds of insufficient physical activity and insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption and lower odds of engaging in multiple health risk behaviors. Negative affect was associated with higher odds of at-risk drinking and current smoking.

Conclusions: Emphasis on increasing positive affect may be warranted for multiple health risk behavior interventions targeting Latinos. Intervention development efforts may also consider prioritizing positive affect for physical activity and dietary interventions, and negative affect for at-drinking and smoking cessation interventions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)


The accepted manuscript version of this article will be publicly available on 02/14/2023