Social Cognitive Theory and Health Care: Analysis and Evaluation

Natalia I. Manjarres-Posada, Dora J. Onofre-Rodríguez, Raquel A. Benavides-Torres


Social Cognitive Theory explains how different personal, environmental and cognitive factors influence human behavior and it has been an important source of knowledge in the social and health sciences. It has been employed in research and practice in nursing, the science of caring. However, no critical analysis has been conducted to show the impact of Social Cognitive Theory in nursing. This article aims to conduct an analysis and evaluation of Social Cognitive Theory using the Fawcett and DeSanto-Madeya methodological framework and a systematic search of the literature. Social Cognitive Theory showed that even though is a non-disciplinary theory of health sciences, the clarity and simplicity of its content facilitates its use in understanding and addressing different phenomena of caring, the creation of middle-range theories and in professional education. The contribution of Social Cognitive Theory in nursing science has focused mainly on two aspects: firstly, on improving disciplinary knowledge with the practical context of health caring by understanding human behavior and its integration in interventions for the promotion, prevention and treatment of health, and secondly, on nursing professionals’ education, highlighting the relevance of the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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