Health-promoting behaviour among women with abdominal obesity: a conceptual link to social support and perceived stress

J Adv Nurs. 2014 Jun;70(6):1381-90. doi: 10.1111/jan.12300.


Aim: To identify a conceptual link among health-promoting behaviour, interpersonal support and perceived stress and to examine whether the link between interpersonal support and health-promoting behaviour would be mediated by perceived stress among women with abdominal obesity.

Background: Abdominal obesity is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease in women and its reduction can be achieved by weight loss. Adopting health-promoting behaviour may be critical for successful weight loss.

Design: A cross-sectional, correlational study design.

Method: Study participants were 126 women with abdominal obesity, who comprised a baseline sample in the Community-based, Heart and Weight Management Trial. The Data were collected between September 2010-November 2011. A multiple regression analysis and Sobel's test were performed.

Findings: Higher levels of interpersonal support and lower levels of perceived stress were significantly associated with higher levels of health-promoting behaviour, after controlling for age, obesity-related comorbidity, postmenopausal status and current smoking in the regression models. The association between interpersonal support and health-promoting behaviour was significantly mediated by perceived stress in the Sobel's test; the magnitude of the association between interpersonal support and health-promoting behaviour decreased when adding perceived stress to the predictor variables in the regression model.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate the practical significance of identifying the levels of interpersonal support and perceived stress among women seeking weight management interventions. Nurses need to develop effective strategies for enhancing social support and stress management skills in weight management interventions for facilitating health-promoting behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Causality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / nursing
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / nursing*
  • Obesity, Abdominal / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Republic of Korea
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Support*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Young Adult