Norman A. Krasnegor National Institutes of Health
The preceding chapters attest to the fact that advances have been made in gaining an understanding of developmental aspects of health compliance behavior. Yet there is much to be learned in this field that is of interest to researchers, clinicians, and public health officials. This chapter provides an enumeration of research topics that should be pursued in the four main areas that comprise this volume: theory, measurement, prevention, and intervention.
There are currently extant a number of theories that address the construct of health compliance behavior. The chapters by Iannotti and Bush, Anderson and Coyne, Leventhal, and that of Ewart, for example, each describe model systems within which to gain a metalevel understanding of compliance behavior. The availability of these theories should be taken advantage of to generate specific hypotheses that can be tested to determine whether the models help to better predict under what conditions health compliance can be achieved.
There is a great need to carry out theoretically based studies on health compliance behavior in the context of what is known about theories of development. Such studies could profitably be directed at questions concerning the determinants of short- and long-term compliance at different developmental stages. For example, investigations could be undertaken to determine the role of cognitive development in the appreciation of short- and long-term consequences associated with health compliance by children who have a chronic illness.
Another issue directly related to the interaction of developmental stage factors