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Late adolescence and early adulthood is a time when people establish many of their life-style behaviors. Thus, in order to promote optimal health, it is important to identify factors predictive of young adults’ healthcare behavior. This study evaluated the relationship between measures of childhood healthcare experience, healthcare attitudes, and optimism with young adults’ healthcare behavior in a sample of college students (n = 100). Results suggested that prior healthcare experience, attitudes about healthcare, and optimism are associated with current healthcare behavior. In addition, the relation between childhood healthcare experience and current healthcare behavior was moderated by optimism, such that those who reported both more negative childhood healthcare experiences and low levels of optimism reported the least adaptive healthcare behaviors and those who reported the most positive childhood healthcare experience and the highest levels of optimism reported the most adaptive healthcare behavior.


This article was originally published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. Copyright © Springer 2008.

The post-peer-reviewed version is posted here with the permission of the author.