Individual, social-environmental, and physical-environmental factors that underlie sense of coherence in Dutch adults

E. Swan, L. Bouwman*, G.J. Hiddink, N. Aarts, M. Koelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Antonovsky’s salutogenesis is a theoretical perspective on health development that explores physical, mental, and social factors that contribute to a ‘healthy life orientation’ and also a theoretical approach to behavior change. Previous studies applying salutogenesis show that a high sense of coherence (SOC), a composite measure from salutogenesis indicating one’s capacity to cope with stress, is associated with a healthy life orientation and lifestyle behaviors, including healthy eating patterns. However, limited evidence exists on the factors that underlie SOC, which could be used to strengthen this capacity as a means to enable healthier eating. Dutch adults (N = 781) participated in a cross-sectional study examining the relationship between SOC and a set of individual, social-environmental, and physical-environmental factors. The main findings indicate that high SOC was associated with a diverse set of factors including lower doctor-oriented health locus of control; higher satisfaction with weight; higher perceived levels of neighborhood collective efficacy; higher situational self-efficacy for healthy eating; lower social discouragement for healthy eating; and higher neighborhood affordability, accessibility and availability of healthy foods. These findings can inform the design of nutrition interventions that target these factors that strengthen SOC and provide the building blocks for a healthier life orientation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Issue number1
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • health promotion
  • nutrition
  • quantitative
  • salutogenesis


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