Adult adaptive health actions are partially shaped by their locus of health decision-making control. This control can vary between an external locus, where health decisions are made by others, and an internal locus, where health decisions are primarily made by the individual.
Relevance: Health care marketing communications typically target health care decision-makers. As shown below, those with an internal locus of control vary dramatically in how the prioritize, approach, or avoid health-related situations.
Locus of Health decision-making control and
The adaptive patterns stage
As adults develop an internal locus of health decision-making control, health decisions become more complex. They are increasingly influenced by personal preferences, dislikes, habits, and physical capabilities as adults encounter new and routine health-related situations.
These interactions complicate health decision-making, forcing the individual to unconsciously adopt a default pattern optimized for balancing internal preferences against situational adaptive necessities. This is the Adaptive Patterns stage.
Relevance: Marketing communications, engagement, or behavior change interventions optimally tailored to an adult's health adaptive pattern, representing intrinsically-goal-directed motivations, will generate greater success than one-size-fits-all alternatives.