The social and behavioral sciences have provided myriad models and theories that health professionals often use when developing health interventions. While some of these models focus on changing an individual’s health behavior, others encompass social and environmental influences. The premise of ecosocial theory posits that the behavior of individuals is dependent upon the dynamic interaction of intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy influences.
Consider the inequitable distribution of rates of obesity when comparing affluent versus lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Can food deserts (where easy access to cheap fast-food far outweighs the prevalence of healthy and nutritious food) lead to higher rates of obesity in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods? Do social class, education, and culture represent additional contributing factors in these communities? What perspectives or lens can best inform interventions to address obesity in low-income communities?
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Then, select a health issue and population of interest. Consider which level in the SEM might most impact changes in health outcomes in your selected population. Reflect on a social or behavioral theory/model associated with a level in the SEM to focus the intervention for your target population.
Write a brief description of the health issue in the population you selected. State your position as to which level in the SEM would most impact changes in health outcomes for this population and explain why. Then, identify a social or behavioral theory/model that maps to the SEM level. Briefly explain how this social or behavioral theory/model could be applied in an intervention aimed at your target population. Be specific and provide examples.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. (2005). Theory at a glance: A guide for health promotion practice (NIH Publication No. 05-3896) (pp. 1?37). Retrieved from http://www.med.upenn.edu/chbr/documents/TheoryataGlance.pdf
"' Figure 1: Landscape of Influences on Health Disparities and Arenas for Policy Action -6
:;: ., . ENVIRONMENT i Health-related ————–' PHYSICAL Other policy
(e.g., education, economic, urban
criminal justice) norms CULTURAL SOCIETY/PUBLIC POLICY Segregation Racism and
discrimination L 0o Economic