Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Contextualisation of health goals

How are health goals related to other valued personal goals?

Winifred Gebhardt

Based on the Health Behavior Goal Model (Gebhardt, 1997; Maes & Gebhardt, 2000), we examine the underlying meaning attached to the goals that individuals pursue, from the conviction that we can only understand behavior when we know the motives behind it, and how they are imbedded in the whole conglomerate of other important individual goals. Consequently, we investigate motives that underlie health behaviors (e.g., sexual motives) and how they may influence behavioral choices within specific contexts (e.g., casual or steady partners, or condom placement preferences in stores). In addition, the distinct processes of goal facilitation, goal conflict, and goal frustration as well as their impact on behavior are within my main research interests.


Physically active in the neighborhood (ZonMW, 2012)

The effects of the public smoking ban on current smokers’ smoking behavior and (self)conceptions, and implications for governmental communication (Miro/Pfizer, 2009)

Testing a theory on continued abstinence and relapse among ex-smokers and developing an internet-based computer system for individualized feedback (ZonMW, 2006; PI Arie Dijkstra)

Study on the influence of emotions and implementation intentions for the reduction of alcohol abuse among students (Leiden University Fund/ Gratama stichting-Byvanck Fund, 2005)


Gebhardt, W.A. (1997). Health behaviour goal model: Towards a theoretical framework for health behaviour change. Leiden University: PhD dissertation.

Maes, S. & Gebhardt, W.A. (2000). Self‑regulation and health behaviour: The health behaviour goal model. In: M. Boekaerts, P.R. Pintrich & M. Zeidner (Eds.). Handbook of self‑regulation. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Gebhardt, W.A. & Maes, S. (2001). Integrating social-psychological frameworks for health behavior research. American Journal of Health Behavior, 25(6), 528-536.

Gebhardt, W.A., Kuyper, L., & Greunsven, G. (2003). Need for intimacy in relationships and motives for sex as determinants of adolescent condom use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33(3), 154-164.

Gebhardt, W.A. (2006). Contextualizing health behaviors: The role of personal goals. In: D. de Ridder & J. de Wit (Eds.). Self-regulation in health behavior. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Gebhardt, W.A. (2008). On multiple goals and continuous conflict. European Health Psychologist, 10(2), 25-28.

Massey, E.K, Gebhardt, W.A., & Garnefski, N. (2008). Adolescent goal content and pursuit: A review of the literature from the past 16 years. Developmental Review, 28, 421-460.

Massey, E.K., Garnefski, N., & Gebhardt, W.A. (2009). Goal frustration, coping and wellbeing in the context of adolescent health: A self-regulation approach. European Journal of Pain, 13, 977-984.

Massey, E.K., Garnefski, N., Gebhardt, W.A., & Van der Leeden, R. (2009). Daily frustration, cognitive coping and coping efficacy in adolescent headache: A daily diary study. Headache, 49 (8), 1198-1205.

Menninga, K.M., Dijkstra, A. & Gebhardt, W.A. (2010). Mixed feelings: Ambivalence as a predictor of relapse in ex-smokers. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 580-59.

Presseau, J., Sniehotta, F.F., Francis, J.J. & Gebhardt, W.A. (2010). With a little help from my goals: Integrating intergoal facilitation with the theory of planned behaviour to predict physical activity. British Journal of Health Psychology, 15(4), 905-919.

Massey, E.K., Garnefski, N., Gebhardt, W.A., Van der Leeden, R. (2011). A daily diary study on the independent and interactive effects of headache and self-regulatory factors on daily affect among adolescents. British Journal of Health Psychology, 16, 288-299.

Gebhardt, W.A., Van der Doef, M.P., Billingy, N. , Carstens, M. & Steenhuis, I. (2012). Preferences for condom placement in stores among young Dutch men and women: relationships with embarrassment and motives for having sex. Sexual Health, 9, 233-239.

Casier, A., Goubert, L., Gebhardt, W.A., De Baets, F., Van Aken, S., Matthys, D., & Crombez, G. (2013). Acceptance and well-being in adolescents with chronic illness: the mediating role of interference and facilitation of life goals by treatment goals. Psychology & Health, 28(11), 1337-1351.

Kenter, E.J., Gebhardt, W.A., Lottman, I., Van Rossum, M., Bekedam, M. & Crone, M.R. (2015). The influence of life events on physical activity patterns of Dutch older adults: A life history method. Psychology & Health, 30:627-651.

Hendriks, H., Gebhardt, W.A. & van den Putte, S.J.H.M. (2017). Alcohol-related posts from young people on social networking sites: Content and motivations. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 20(7): 428-435.

Gebhardt, W.A. (2017). Multiple goal perspective and social identification processes. Addiction, 112(3), 396-398. 


In Press

Kunst, L.E. & Gebhardt, W.A. (accepted for publication). Prevalence and psychosocial correlates of party-drug use and associated problems among university students in the Netherlands". Substance Use and Misuse.

Publications in relation to pain

Claes, N. & Gebhardt, W.A. (accepted for publication). Chronic pain and goal frustration. Chapter in: P. Karoly & G. Crombez (eds). Motivational Perspectives on Chronic Pain: Theory, Research, and Practice.



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