Food for the Hungry Logo Barrier Analysis: A Tool for Improving Behavior Change Communication in Child Survival and Community Development Programs
Background Information
What is Barrier Analysis
Behavior change theory
Seeing the need
Fisherman story
Seven steps
The "Exercise" exercise
How to Conduct Barrier Analysis

Masai villagers shaking hands

  Negative and Positive Attributes

"Negative and positive attributes associated with the action.”

Attributes are characteristics of something. In addition to the seven determinants presented above (which are barriers), there are things that are sometimes associated with a given preventive action that may make a person more likely to do a positive behavior or less likely to do a given negative behavior. These things may or may not have anything to do with health or other aspects of community development, nor do they necessarily have anything to do with the other barriers. These are things that have to do with personal preferences: what gives the person enjoyment and fulfillment in life (positive attributes of the action) and the things that they dislike (negative attributes of the action).

Concerning ORS, what are some of the reasons that a person MAY NOT use ORS that would not have anything to do with its ability to prevent dehydration (i.e., the negative attributes)?

A mother might say that it does not "stop the diarrhea immediately," "it tastes bad," or "it makes my child vomit."

Concerning using natural pesticides, what might be positive attributes of that behavior that might make it more likely that someone will use them?

A farmer may say that "natural pesticides are not as dangerous to my family" or "the marigolds are pretty and make my garden look better." For ORS, a mother might say that she uses it because it makes her child feel better and gives him or her more strength. (The potassium in ORS often makes children become more active after they take it.)

The positive things about an action can act as a "counterbalance" to the negative attributes and other barriers that may otherwise keep someone from taking action. For example, a mother may use ORS just because it keeps her child more alert and happier, despite the fact that she does not believe that it will prevent dehydration or shorten the diarrheal episode. A mother might bring her child to immunization posts just so she can spend some time with her friends.

More information on Self-Efficacy

Determinants Introduction
Perceived Susceptibility
Perceived Severity
Perceived Action Efficacy
Perceived Social Acceptability
Perceived Self-Efficacy
Cues for Action
Perception of Divine Will
Negative and Positive Attributes
Determinant Exercises


Next (Determinant Exercises)

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© November 2004

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