Published online by Cambridge University Press: 04 July 2020
This chapter offers a critical consideration of behavior change scholarship. It introduces the complexity of behavior change and provides a brief overview of major concerns that have been raised regarding behavior change theories and models. It then discusses how critical and qualitative approaches can provide a response to some of these concerns and how qualitative approaches have value for extending practice in this field. The chapter provides arguments for using qualitative research in behavior change research, gives examples of where qualitative approaches have been employed, and outlines social practice theory as a means to address many of the concerns about dominant approaches to behavior change. The chapter also discusses critical perspectives and their value to the field of behavior change research and implementation. In the final sections, the chapter outlines the benefits of researchers and practitioners working interdisciplinarily, advocates the importance of understanding and incorporating qualitative approaches into behavior change research, and highlights the value of taking a broader, more critical perspective on research and practice in this field.