The Dyadic Health Influence Model

Chloe O Huelsnitz, Rachael E Jones, Jeff Simpson, Keven Joyal-Desmarais, Erin C Standen, Lisa A Auster-Gussman, Alexander J. Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Relationship partners affect one another’s health outcomes through their health behaviors, yet how this occurs is not well understood. To fill this gap, we present the Dyadic Health Influence Model (DHIM). The DHIM identifies three routes through which a person (the agent) can impact the health beliefs and behavior of their partner (the target). An agent may (a) model health behaviors and shape the shared environment, (b) enact behaviors that promote their relationship, and/or (c) employ strategies to intentionally influence the target’s health behavior. A central premise of the DHIM is that agents act based on their beliefs about their partner’s health and their relationship. In turn, their actions have consequences not only for targets’ health behavior but also for their relationship. We review theoretical and empirical research that provides initial support for the routes and offer testable predictions at the intersection of health behavior change research and relationship science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-34
Number of pages32
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.


  • close relationships
  • health behavior change
  • modeling
  • social control
  • social influence

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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