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The model was developed by three researchers. The first of these was Godfrey Hochbaum, a research psychologist with the United States Public Health Service and later chief of the Behavioral Science Section of the US Public Health Service (from 1957-1967) and professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The second was Stephen Kegels, a behavioral scientist who served as chief of social psychological studies Division of Dental Public Health and Resources at the U.S. Public Health Service before joining the psychology faculties of first the University of Connecticut and then the University of Michigan. The final researcher to help develop the model was Irwin Rosenstock, a psychologist with the U.S. Public Health Service from 1951 to 1961 and later on the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

The model contains six key constructs:

  • Perceived Susceptibility: Every individual assesses the chance that he or she will experience a particular disease or injury and this assessment (e.g. the likelihood of getting breast cancer) varies dramatically from individual to individual.
  • Perceived Seriousness: Each individual assesses the seriousness (including the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the condition) of a particular injury or illness in different ways.
  • Perceived Benefits of Taking Action: The beliefs that a person has about a disease and about any possible intervention for the disease – will influence any action the individual takes regarding prevention or treatment of that disease.

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