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Health Education & Behavior

Health Education & Behavior

An Official Publication of the Society for Public Health Education

eISSN: 15526127 | ISSN: 10901981 | Current volume: 51 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Bi-monthly
Subscribe to the 2016 Institutional Package for Health Education & Behavior, including Pedagogy in Health Promotion.

Health Education & Behavior (HE&B) is a peer-reviewed, bimonthly journal that publishes authoritative empirical research and commentary on critical health issues of interest to a broad range of professionals whose work involves understanding factors associated with health behavior and evidence-based social and behavioral strategies to improve health status.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

Self Study for Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Credit

Each bimonthly issue of Health Education &Behavior (HE&B) features two self-study articles worth 2.0 Category I continuing education contact hours (CECH). Please click here for more details and instructions.

Health Education & Behavior is an official publication of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). The journal publishes authoritative empirical research and commentary on critical health issues of interest to a broad range of professionals whose work involves understanding factors associated with health behavior and evidence-based social and behavioral strategies to improve health status. The journal audience consists primarily of researchers and practitioners in health behavior and health education. Typical manuscripts published in the journal include empirical research using qualitative or quantitative methods; formative, process, and outcome evaluations; and literature reviews. Each manuscript submitted is expected to include implications for theory, policy, and/or practice in the discussion section. If a study assesses an intervention, a description of the intervention should be included in the methods section of the manuscript.

Editor in Chief
Jesus Ramirez-Valles, PhD, MPH University of California San Francisco, USA
Associate Editors
Daniel Canavese de Oliveira, PhD, MPH Federal University of Rio Grande do Sur (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, Brazil
Rohan Jeremiah, PhD, MPH University of Illinois Chicago, USA
Lucia Juarez, PhD University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
Lisa M. Kuhns, PhD, MPH Northwestern University, USA
Hale Thompson, PhD Rush University Medical Center, USA
Social Media Editor
Bertha Hidalgo, PhD, MPH University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
Editorial Board
Rachael Dombrowski, PhD, MPH California State University San Marcos, USA
David A. Birch, PhD, MCHES University of Alabama, USA
Jessica Burke, PhD, MHS University of Pittsburgh
David H. Chae, Sc.D., M.A. Tulane University, USA
Bonnie Duran, DrPH University of Washington, USA
Michael Eriksen, ScD Georgia State University, USA
Chandra L. Ford, PhD, MPH, MLIS University of California at Los Angeles, USA
Deborah Fortune, PhD, FAAHE North Carolina Central University, USA
Derek Griffith, PhD Georgetown University, USA
Rosalba Hernandez, PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,USA
Michelle C. Kegler, DrPH, MPH Emory University, USA
Adam P. Knowlden, PhD, CHES University of Alabama, USA
Lisa D. Lieberman, PhD, CHES Montclair State University, USA
Lizbeth López-Carrillo, DrPH Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico
John B. Lowe, DrPH, MPH University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Raffy Reinaldo Luquis, PhD, MCHES Penn State Harrisburg, USA
Leah C. Neubauer, EdD, MA, CPH Northwestern University, USA
Edith A. Parker, DrPH, MPH University of Iowa, USA
Denise Payán, PhD, MPP University of California, Merced, USA
Lucy Popova, PhD Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Emma Sanchez-Vaznaugh, ScD, MPH San Francisco State University, USA
Inga Dora Sigfusdottir, PhD Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis, Iceland
Marcie S. Wright, PhD, MPH Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Editors Emeriti
Managing Editor
Miranda Bohl J&J Editorial, USA
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  • Instructions for Authors

    Health Education & Behavior publishes authoritative empirical research and commentary on critical health issues of interest to a broad range of professionals whose work involves understanding factors associated with health behavior and evidence-based social and behavioral strategies to improve health status. The journal audience consists primarily of researchers and practitioners in health education and health promotion. Typical manuscripts published in the journal include reports of empirical research using qualitative or quantitative methods; formative, process, and outcome evaluations; and literature reviews.

    We encourage authors to read Taking Quantitative Data Analysis Out of the Positivist Era: Calling for Theory-Driven Data-Informed Analysis by Dr. Haardörfer. This article provides insights on how we frame research, theory, and data analysis.

    We also expect submitting authors to follow the Equator Network Reporting Guidelines in preparing their manuscripts.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section below.

    HE&B offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

    Categories of Manuscripts and Word Count

    Health Education & Behavior invites, considers, and publishes manuscripts in the following categories:

    Commentary and Perspective: The journal accepts commentaries and perspective pieces on methodological issues and theory of up to 2,5001 words of text (abstract of up to 150 words), plus references on an invitation only basis. Editorials of up to 1,200 words (no abstract) are solicited by the editor.

    Full-Length Original Articles: Full-length original articles comprise reports of empirical research and other studies of up to 4,0001 words of text (abstract of up to 250 words), plus tables and figures, and references.

    1 words of text (abstract of up to 250 words), plus tables and figures, and references.


    Brief Reports: Brief reports comprise manuscripts reporting empirical research or other studies (including promising pilot studies) that can be up to 2,0001 words of text (abstract of up to 150 words) and no more than 2 tables and/or figures, plus up to 15 references.

    Policy and Environmental Change Articles: Manuscripts that focus solely on reporting theory, methodological issues, and results of innovative policy, environmental and other structural change approaches to improving population health are encouraged and can be up to 3,5001 words of text (abstract of up to 250 words), plus tables and figures, and references.


    1 The word count applies only to body of the manuscript, e.g., the introduction, methods, results, and discussion; the abstract, tables, figures, and references are not included in the word count.


    Manuscript Submission Requirements

    All manuscripts should be submitted online at the Health Education & Behavior submission portal at The site contains detailed instructions on how to submit and track the progression of a manuscript through the review process. All manuscripts will be assigned a manuscript number, and authors will receive email confirmation acknowledging receipt of submission.

    Authors should not transmit hard copies of their manuscripts to the journal office. Inquiries regarding a manuscript or the journal should be directed to

    Cover letter: Authors have the option to accompany their submission with a cover letter to the editor.

    Title Page & Acknowledgements:

    • The title page should include the title of the manuscript, author names, degrees, and affiliations, and any acknowledgements, funding information or conflict of interest statements the authors wish to include with the manuscript.
    • The title page should be uploaded as a separate document with the words “title_page” in the document name.
    • All titles should be no more than 14 words.


    The Manuscript

    Style and format:

    • All manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with the style and format requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (most recent edition).
    • The manuscript, including captions, footnotes, tables, and references, must be double-spaced with 1-inch margins in a 12-point font. The elements of a manuscript should include: abstract, impact statement, body of text, references, and tables, figures or other graphic images.

    Title: The title should stand alone as the first page of the manuscript. (Note: Author information and any acknowledgements should not be included with the title. These are to be uploaded as a separate Title Page and Acknowledgements document. See above for details.)

    Abstract: Write an informative abstract of up to 250 words, followed by no more than 6 keywords. The abstract should be a standalone narrative of the work. It should not be structured in explicitly defined sections, e.g., Background, Aims, Methods, Results, Conclusions. Rather, it must follow a logical narrative. It must address these questions:

    1. What is the problem addressed?
    2. What does this report add to the literature?
    3. What are the implications for public health research and/or practice?

    Avoid citing references, abbreviations, and detailed statistics (e.g., p-values, means). State clearly the methodology employed (e.g., qualitative and quantitative), the sample size (if relevant) and the analysis (e.g., conversation analysis, structural equation modeling).

    The abstract and the keywords should be easy to discover through search engines.

    Body of text:

    1. Introduction
    2. Methods
    3. results
    4. discussion (including limitations and strengths and implications for theory, policy, and/or practice)


    • All references should be prepared in accordance with the format and style requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (most recent edition).
    • References to unpublished material are discouraged.
    • Footnotes to the text should be avoided.
    • For further information on how to format citations and references, please consult the APA Style tutorial at:

    Tables and figures:

    • A total of five tables and figures are permitted with the submitted manuscript.
      • All tables, figures, and graphic images should be cited sequentially in text, serially numbered, and accompanied by explanatory captions, and constructed in accordance with the style and format requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (most recent edition).
    • Do not include tables and figures within the body of the manuscript; tables and figures can be included at the end of the document immediately following the reference list or uploaded in separate document files. Tables should be editable.
    • All figures, illustrations, graphics, and photographs should be supplied with the highest quality original electronic format. All files should follow the Sage artwork guidelines contained at the Sage Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

     Human Participants and Institutional Review Board:

    • All studies involving data collection with human participants must document that approval was received from an appropriate institutional review board.
    • It must be stated in writing, anonymized in the Methods section or named in the cover letter, that the study protocol was approved by a review committee on the protection of human participants or its equivalent.

    Language and other requirements:

    • Manuscripts must be submitted in English.
    • Authors should refrain from using the term subjects when describing or referring to human research participants. Alternative terms such as respondents, research participants, or some other more specific designation (e.g., youth, females, patients, or residents) should be used.
    • Each manuscript reporting empirical research that is submitted is expected to include implications for theory, policy, and/or practice in the discussion section.

    Reporting standards: Health Education & Behavior has adopted guidelines for reporting standards that have been developed in recent years and promulgated by several groups. Manuscripts reporting the results of an intervention that has been evaluated should provide a detailed description of the intervention in the methods section. Health Education & Behavior strongly encourages authors to utilize the checklist and guide that have been provided by Hoffmann et al. (2014) for reporting descriptions of interventions.

    Reports of randomized controlled trials should adhere to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) Statement (Rennie, 2001) and reports of evaluations with nonrandomized designs should adhere to the requirements of the Transparent Reporting of Evaluation with Nonrandomized Designs (TREND) (Des Jarlais, Lyles, Crepaz, & the TREND Group, 2004). Health Education & Behavior also expects manuscripts reporting the results of systematic reviews and meta-analytic reports to adhere to the requirements for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)(Moher, Liberati, Tetzlaff, & Altman, 2009). Submitting author are also encouraged to adhere to the NIH OBSSR guidelines on conducting mixed methods research when reporting such studies (OBSSR NIH Best Practices for Mixed Methods Research).

    Appendices and supplemental material: Appendices should not be included in the manuscript. However, appendices containing questionnaires and instruments, intervention materials, supplemental data analyses, or other materials or information that are proposed by the authors(s) and deemed to be valuable by the editor may be made available for public access via links to a section for such material at the Health Education & Behavior website. Extensive appendices and supplemental material intended for online-only display should be clearly marked with “online supp” in the file name.


    Revised Manuscripts

    Revised manuscripts should follow the formatting requirements described above. Changes to revised and resubmitted manuscripts should be noted within the document with tracked changes in MS Word or by other means (e.g., use of bold font or color-highlighted text).

    In addition to a copy of your manuscript with tracked changes or other marks, authors must submit a clean copy of the manuscript with no editing marks and all tracked changes accepted. This clean copy will be used for production if your revised manuscript is accepted for publication.

    A separate point-by-point “Response to Reviewers” should be included when transmitting a revised submission. When submitting the revised manuscript, authors will be able to respond to the comments made by reviewer(s). This response can be entered into the space provided or uploaded as a separate document. In order to expedite the processing of the revised manuscript, please be as specific as possible in your response to the reviewer(s).

    Note: Health Education & Behavior adheres to a rigorous double-anonymized reviewing policy in which the identity of both the author(s) and reviewer(s) are always concealed from both parties. The response to reviewers should be a anonymized document, and should not contain author names, contact information, or any other identifying information.


    Brief writings in memory of distinguished persons in the field are by invitation only. We do not accept unsolicited contributions; however, we welcome suggestions.


    Pre-Publication Proofs and Post-Publication Reprints

    Proofs of manuscripts accepted for publication will be supplied to the corresponding author prior to publication. The corresponding author has the responsibility to check the accuracy of typesetting and copyediting, including references, and to return corrected proofs within the specified time allotted. Authors may be charged for excessive alterations to the proofs. The corresponding author will receive a PDF containing a copy of the article as it appears in the issue in which it will be published, and is to be used in accordance with the specified instructions. Corresponding authors are responsible for distributing the PDF with any other coauthors of the manuscript.



    Since a U.S. Copyright Law became effective in January 1978, the transfer of copyright from author to publisher, heretofore implicit in the submission of a manuscript, must now be explicitly transferred to enable the publisher to ensure maximum dissemination of the author’s work. A copy of the agreement executed and signed by each author is required with each manuscript submission. The agreement can be found on the website. (If the article is a “work for hire,” the agreement must be signed by the employer.) No manuscript can be considered accepted unless a signed copyright transfer agreement is executed and submitted. It is the author’s responsibility to obtain written permission and pay any and all fees for the use of any quotation(s) over 300 words from previously published material; non-original photographs, figures, or tables or any portion thereof, exclusive of data; and quotes of any length from newspapers, magazines, poems, songs, and anything broadcast over radio or television. Without a copy of written permission on file with the publisher, the quotation(s) cannot be used. Original photographs require signed releases from those photographed.



    Manuscripts should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting manuscripts should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

    The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

    1. Made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data,
    2. Drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content,
    3. Approved the version to be published.

    Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content.

    When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the authors should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

    Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute justification for authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section.

    Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines for more information on authorship.

    Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.



    Health Education & Behavior requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for- profit sectors. It is the policy of Health Education & Behavior to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

    Please ensure that a “Declaration of Conflicting Interests” statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that “The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest”.


    Research Ethics, Use of Human Subjects, and Informed Consent

    Research reported in the journal should comply with ethical principles that are contained in the American Psychological Association Ethical Guidelines for Research With Human Subjects, the Declaration of Helsinki Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects (Williams, 2008), and the Unified Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession (Capwell, Smith, Shirreffs, & Olsen, 2000).

    Medical research involving human subjects must be conducted according to the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

    Submitted manuscripts should conform to the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, and all manuscripts reporting animal and/or human studies must state in the methods section that the relevant Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board provided (or waived) approval. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee, in addition to the approval number.

    For research articles, authors are also required to state in the methods section whether participants provided informed consent and whether the consent was written or verbal.



    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.


    Sage Language Services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information



    Capwell, E. M., Smith, B. J., Shirreffs, J., & Olsen, L. K. (2000). Development of a Unified Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession: A report of the National Task Force on Ethics in Health Education. Journal of School Health, 70, 318-319.

    Des Jarlais, D. C., Lyles, C., Crepaz, N., & the TREND Group. (2004). Improving the reporting quality of nonrandomized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: The TREND statement. American Journal of Public Health, 94, 361-366.

    Hoffmann, T.C., Glasziou, P.P., Boutron, I., Milne, R., Perera, R., Moher, D., …Michie, S. (2014). Better reporting of interventions: Template for intervention description and replication (TIDierR) checklist and guide. British Medical Journal, 3348, g1687.

    Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., & Altman, D.G.; PRISMA Group. (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA statement. British Medical Journal, 339, b2535.

    Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research. (2010). Best Practices for Mixed-Methods Research in the Health Sciences. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health.

    Rennie, D. (2001). CONSORT revised—improving the reporting of randomized trials. JAMA, 285, 2006- 2007.

    Williams, J. R. (2008). The Declaration of Helsinki and public health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86, 650-651.


    Please direct inquiries to:

    Miranda Bohl, HE&B Managing Editor
    J&J Editorial

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