Background: There is a documented need to examine the complex motivational systems that lead individuals to adopt health-promoting behaviors and to evaluate the psychosocial aspects of male health. A study focused on health motivation as a determinant of self-rated health and health behaviors among older men was therefore undertaken. Objectives: This study aimed to explore the relations among health motivation, self-rated health, and health behaviors in community-dwelling older men. Methods: A descriptive, correlational survey design was used for this study of 135 community-dwelling men ages 55 years and older The questionnaire packet included a demographic tool, the Older Men's Health Program and Screening Inventory, the Health-Promotion Activities of Older Adults Measure, and the Health Self-Determinism Index. Results: Older men with more intrinsic motivation rated their health as better (p ≤ .001) and assessed their lifestyles as more healthy (p ≤ .001) than did their counterparts with more extrinsic motivation. Whereas anticipated benefits (a potential motivator) were significantly related to health-promoting behaviors (p ≤ .001), health program attendance (p ≤ .001), and health screening participation (p ≤ .01), the Health Self-Determinism Index score did not demonstrate significant relations with any of these three variables. Conclusions: The findings suggest that promoting self-motivation may be key to increasing older men's perceptions of health and well-being. Further exploration of anticipated benefits as a motivator of health-promotion activities is warranted, as well as intervention studies to promote older men's health screening and program attendance.
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