Explain how health behaviors within your population contribute to the risks observed and what factors perpetuate certain risk-related behaviors..
Socio-ecological assessments can help identify the interactions between individual behavior and social environments. As individual behavioral and social environments interact, the dynamics of this interaction may influence health. These interactions allow health professionals to be cognizant of how vast and varied the field of public health can be. Remembering always to be open to change and interpretation, the influence of these interactions on health can provide valuable cues for policy development and the promotion of positive health outcomes.
For example, a socio-ecological assessment can explain what factors contribute to HIV/AIDS prevalence among intravenous (IV) drug users:
Individual factors—risky behavior: sharing needles
Societal factors—stigma and discrimination
Socioeconomic and political factors—increased drug use in poor and marginalized communities
In seeking to conduct a socio-ecological assessment, you should keep three steps in mind:
Consider determinants and interconnections
Use theories to help identify the socio-ecological systems levels to target for change
Review the evidence to ensure more than one system level is targeted
For this Assignment, select a population and a health issue you are interested in. Note: Do not use HIV/AIDS as your health issue. Consider health disparities that may exist in this population in relation to the health issue you selected.
The Assignment (2 pages)
Describe the population and health issue you selected and explain how this health issue represents a social problem for your population.
Describe the indicators (e.g., incidence, mortality, morbidity, and hospitalizations) related to the issue and explain how the factors contribute to health disparities observed in your selected population.
Explain how health behaviors within your population contribute to the risks observed and what factors perpetuate certain risk-related behaviors.