Date of Conferral





Public Health


Loretta Cain


AbstractA fall is associated with adverse outcomes that include occupational, physical, cognitive, and psychological decline together with economic and caregiving burden. Despite the continued increase in prevalence of falls globally, most studies address the well-known risk factors of falls but exclude the behavioral risk factors associated with human actions, emotions, and everyday choices. Following the theory of self-determination and person object of interest framework, this quantitative, nonexperimental study was conducted using face-to-face and web surveys to examine the relationship between motivational, relational, and sociodemographic/medical conditions to predict engagement in fall prevention practices in a sample of 75 community dwellers, 65 years and older without cognitive or mobility limitations. Regression analyses were conducted to test the hypotheses. Results of the linear regression analysis were significant indicating a positive relationship between interests and basic psychological needs to predict behavior for engagement in fall prevention practices. Specifically, 21% of the variance in fall behavior is explainable by interests, and 38% of the variance in fall behavior is explainable by the combination of interests and basic psychological needs particularly satisfaction in relatedness and dissatisfaction of autonomy. Findings of this study can be used to bring awareness of the supportive role basic psychological needs and interests play toward engaging in fall prevention practices. Including motivation and relational concepts in population-based fall prevention assessments is a starting point for positive social change.