Term Paper: Health Behavior the "Theories

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[. . .] The detailed study of the problem and related factors in the light of particular settings help the experts to design interventions accordingly. The intervention is in the form of policy, strategy and program that can have an impact over physical activity. The development of the intervention, its implementation and finally the evaluation depend largely upon the used model or framework (NCI, 2011).

Not all individuals take part in physical activities. There are many policies, social and physical environmental variables which determine an individual's habit of participating in physical activity. The change in habit is possible through change in these environmental factors. If environment does not support change, habits will remain the same. In order to increase physical activity, the need is to work upon individual's tendencies and the factors influencing those tendencies. The model of social ecology is a tool to achieve this goal. It throws light upon multiple factors that determine the individual's behavior. Simultaneous focus on multiple points of influence increases the possibility of change in behavior (Eddy, Module 1).

There are certain theoretical models related to self-efficacy and stages of change which throw light upon inculcating habit of physical activity. These two models are based on psychology of the individual involving himself in the process of change. These models lack consideration of public policy, physical setup and social environment that at times are extremely important variables. The Study Design of VCE Physical Education (2011-2014) is working on the model of social ecology to critically analyze the process and technique of identifying the multiple points of influence so that a greater degree of change can be brought in (NCI, 2011).

There are many varieties of model of social ecology based on environmental factors. These factors are classified according to their influence. In the particular case of VCE Physical Education, the factors that it uses for studying the model of social ecology are based on social environment, policy components, physical environment and the characteristics of individual (NCI, 2011).

Social ecology model is the idea of Bronfenbrenner who has classified the influences in the layers. Each layer provides input to the next layer. In his view, the layers are similar to Russian dolls put in sequence. The core level comprises of the individual himself while respective outer layers represent varying degree of environmental influences on the individual (Bronfenbrenner 1994). Each layer is like an overlapping circle having a specific portion of the model. All the levels have considerable impact on the personality and attitude of an individual (Stokols 1996, p. 291). For instance, government level agencies and institutions form the broader level of environment in the light of policy implications. These implications affect the community facilities and geographical environment which put strong impact upon the lives of organizations and social structure in the society.

There is a need to customize the model of social ecology as per the population groups present in the society. It is mandatory to adjust it with the different behaviors prevailing in the society. The behavior varies because of the age factor mainly. The expected level of participation by the young adults will be quite different from the elderly group; hence the strategies and policy defined as intervention to change participation level will also be different. The population group will also affect the examples related to each layer of model of social ecology even though the same version of the model is used (Elder 2007, p. 156).

Finally, it can easily be estimated that the social-ecological model is a very vibrant and conducive structure with regards to understanding of the impacts of creating and analyzing intercessions on physical activities and behavioral changes. Many researchers have devotedly worked on the issue and their long-tailed reports indicate their individual impression about the model. Few citations might help one identify and understand various different divisions of the same model and its components.

The design for the VCE Physical Education (2011-2014) categorizes the following four elements in the social-ecological model:


Social environment

Physical Environment

Policy (NCI, 2011)

Here, it will be the responsibility of the researcher or practitioner to recognize and provide the examples of the social-ecological model. Moreover, they will also be analyzing the actual application of the social-ecological model by the public and private enterprises for the promotion of physical activity for targeting their respecting niche.

4. Discuss upstream and downstream approaches to health behavior change. Cite three examples

The case of Health Promotion is special as it is an upstream activity with the objective of helping people secure them. While, in the downstream, secondary activity (for detection of the illness for proper treatment ahead of any avoidable harm like screening) and also tertiary healthcare plans; (these plan of actions are made for proved diseases to minimize their complications and problems, like special steps for diabetes patients) (Eddy, Module 1a).

In the mid-level, the healthcare providers pursue certain health care and impediment measures on the individual front, like the awareness programs for smokers to help people understand the risks of the disease. While in the upstream level, healthcare development programs, policy initiatives etc. can be seen as options. Imposing tax on tobacco, ban on smoking related advertisement and implementing smoking free laws are few examples of policy initiatives. Furthermore, healthcare education by increasing people's awareness about healthcare, and changing their attitudes and lifestyles is another tool. Hence, the Health Promotion element has a double role to play: one, preventing bad health and two promoting the activist health lifestyle (Eddy, Module 1a)

Health Promotion is a method of empowering people to enhance their control over their lives and maintain positive health. So that, they can reach a state of bodily and rationally sound health where they enjoy social goodwill by recognizing their needs, wants and desires while cooperating and integrating with the environment. Fitness is and should never be taken as aim of life; instead, it's a tool to spend a sound and joyful life. The concept of health is not restricted to just physical capabilities; it also includes positive utilization of personal and communal resources. Hence, we can't say that healthcare management is the sole responsibility of the health departments, but this is a collective responsibility of society and all the sectors for the combined well-being (Eddy, Module 1a).

In other words, we can define the Health Promotion structure as a process of empowering individuals and societies for enhancing their capabilities to develop their system of healthcare for improving their collective societal health. One of the main points in the definition is that we need to analyze the efforts for health promotion and in doing so, evidence collection on the progress and results, is an important factor. This process should be aimed at not only strength of healthcare status but also weakness of the negative health. It also notes that the evaluation process should be used as a means to improve overall personal as well as collective health and process of community health empowerment (Eddy, Module 1a).

Why We Need Upstream Investments

When you look at the spending of the global communities on transferable and non-infectious diseases, the balance has drastically changed. As per the expected statistics of 2010, their joint weight will reach 60%. Non-infectious diseases have to be dealt with a long-term perspective of sustainable health with unique approach. In the developed countries, the cost of healthcare has been reduced due to inexpensive solutions. Simple and basic healthcare measures can avoid many individual habitual and environmental pitfalls (Eddy, Module 1a).

Upstream Investments Brings Downstream Results

Investment in intervention initiatives like smoking, higher BP, cholesterol etc. can help a lot in securing societies and empowering them to deal with the cardiovascular diseases that are causing the highest rates of deaths globally. At the same time, the inexpensive but reliable measures can improve their viability by reducing the cost and saving a great amount of money that was to be spent when dealing with the problem (Eddy, Module 1a).

If we focus on reducing the risks of the major diseases, we can save around 4 million untimely deaths annually. Every year, around five million people die because of tobacco, while soaring BP causes over 7 million deaths. However, it's extremely necessary to say how important it is to invest in upstream interventions but it's equally difficult as well. The most important thing here is an unending political will to make sure a reliable success rate exists while simultaneously reduce the inequality in basic necessities of life like health facilities (Eddy, Module 1a).

5. Discuss how you would use the Health Belief Model to assist with the design of a health promotion program to increase breast cancer screenings or cholesterol screenings in adult populations.

Health Belief Model (HBM)

Health Belief Model is one of the premier ideas in healthcare and health activities and still considered one of the most reputed theories of the field. A group of U.S. Public Health Service social psychologists developed this theory in the 1950s. They just aimed to help people… [END OF PREVIEW]

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