A Conceptual Model of Relationships between Aesthetic Experience, Self-efficacy, and Behaviour Change in Arts-based Health Communication Programs

  • Jill Sonke

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis presents an explanatory sequential mixed methods grounded theory study aimed at examining relationships between aesthetic experience, self-efficacy and health-related behaviour change within arts-based health communication programmes in the United States. The study addressed this aim through two objectives: (a) to investigate and identify potential linkages between aesthetic experience and health-related behaviour change and (b) to develop a conceptual model for informing the design of arts-based health communication programmes.

The study sought to illuminate the tacit understandings and experiences of public health and arts professionals who use the arts and aesthetic experience in such programs, as well as those who participate in them. The study recognized that these tacit understandings exist, but that they have not been brought forward as a theory or model for guiding practice.

The explanatory sequential mixed methods grounded theory study included three iterative stages of data collection and analysis (theoretical literature review, survey, and focus groups), followed by data integration and interpretation. The meta-inferences derived from this study represent the ways in which people who facilitate and participate in arts-based health communication programs think about aesthetic experience and behaviour change in relation to these programs. They also identify and describe perceived linkages between the arts, aesthetic experience, self-efficacy, and health behaviour change in these programs. They suggest that in arts-based health communication programs, aesthetic experiences may have the potential to contribute to self-efficacy and/or behaviour change. The resulting conceptual model offers a framework that can help inform the use of the arts and aesthetic experience in health communication programs and that encourages cross-sector collaboration between the public health and arts sectors in the United States.
Date of AwardSept 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorTom Maguire (Supervisor) & Karen Casson (Supervisor)


  • Arts
  • Aesthetic experience
  • Health communication
  • Health behaviour change
  • Public health

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