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Self-determination theory and motivational interviewing in behavioral nutrition, physical activity, and health

Series coordinator: Prof Pedro Teixeira

     

On the occasion of the 9th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), a satellite meeting was organized in Sintra, Portugal entitled Self-Determination Theory and Motivational Interviewing in Behavioral Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Health. The organizers were interested in stimulating a focused discussion around the similarities, differences, and complementary of self-determination theory (SDT) and Motivational Interviewing (MI). This gathering was spurred by both a recent growth in applied health behavior research based in SDT, and by a continuing interest in exploring the mechanisms by which MI produces results in practice. There are multiple links between SDT, a well-established theory of human motivation and behavior, and MI, a popular clinical method for evoking behavior change. Both models are person-centered and process-oriented, both emphasize that optimal behavior change must involve deep personal commitment and engagement, and both stress that genuine empathy and unconditional regard towards patients or clients is a necessary condition for the long-term success of behavior change interventions. Moreover, both SDT and MI appear to have at its center the concept of motivation, endorsing the development of "internal" motives, personal meaning, and the need for patients to take responsibility for change, to the detriment of externally imposed goals and pressures. In the fields of behavioral, preventive, and "lifestyle" medicine the interest in both MI and SDT has grown steadily over the past decades, with scholars and practitioners working in applied areas such as physical activity, eating behavior, obesity, and diabetes becoming increasingly interested in exploring self-regulation and motivational dynamics. Are we at the point where SDT should be viewed as "the theory of MI" and MI viewed as the "intervention method of SDT"? This and other related questions are collectively addressed by the 8 contributions that compose the present thematic series. The hope is that it may enrich readers' reflection on the subject of health behavior change, leading the way to interventions which are not only more effective but also ethically sounder and more widely accepted and implemented.

Collection published: 2 March 2012

  1. Content type: Review

    This article explores the topics of motivation and self-regulation in the context of weight management and related behaviors. We focus on the role of a qualitative approach to address motivation - not only consid...

    Authors: Pedro J Teixeira, Marlene N Silva, Jutta Mata, António L Palmeira and David Markland

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:22

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  2. Content type: Review

    Mounting evidence implicates health behaviors (e.g., nutrition, physical activity, tobacco abstinence) in various health outcomes. As the science of behavior change has emerged, increasing emphasis has been pl...

    Authors: Heather Patrick and Geoffrey C Williams

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:18

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  3. Content type: Review

    A growing number of studies have pulled from Deci and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory to design interventions targeting health behavior change. More recently, researchers have begun using SDT to promote the a...

    Authors: Michelle S Fortier, Joan L Duda, Eva Guerin and Pedro J Teixeira

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:20

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  4. Content type: Methodology

    Clinical interventions can be developed through two distinct pathways. In the first, which we call top-down, a well-articulated theory drives the development of the intervention, whereas in the case of a botto...

    Authors: Maarten Vansteenkiste, Geoffrey C Williams and Ken Resnicow

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:23

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  5. Content type: Commentary

    Motivational Interviewing (MI), a counseling style initially used to treat addictions, increasingly has been used in health care and public health settings. This manuscript provides an overview of MI, includin...

    Authors: Ken Resnicow and Fiona McMaster

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:19

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  6. Content type: Review

    Within Western society, many people have difficulties adequately regulating their eating behaviors and weight. Although the literature on eating regulation is vast, little attention has been given to motivatio...

    Authors: Joke Verstuyf, Heather Patrick, Maarten Vansteenkiste and Pedro J Teixeira

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:21

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  7. Content type: Commentary

    The papers of this special issue have the dual focus of reviewing research, especially clinical trials, testing self-determination theory (SDT) and of discussing the relations between SDT and motivational inte...

    Authors: Edward L Deci and Richard M Ryan

    Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2012 9:24

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