January 17, 2011 RESEARCH IN HEALTH STUDIES LEC#4
Health Studies: Social Factors, Health & Illness
Social factors and health
Social class - arrangements of people in society as economic groups
Socio-economic status - societal status using factors or measurements such as income levels
How are they classified? Main Perspectives:
Social causation hypothesis –factors associated with socio-economic status influence health
Selection hypothesis – life course perspective
What about psychosocial stress? -response to stress -mediating factors
How do individuals cope with these life events?
Coping – Crisis theory
1) Crisis theory –homeostasis and equilibrium
What helps in coping?
Social, psychological, and personality characteristics
Social support - comfort
Social capital - community level
Self efficacy - related to self-esteem; internal control
Labelling and social stigma
Sense of powerlessness
At societal level:
‘social stigma’ –social reaction which leads to a spoilt identity and labelling
Social interactionism versus symbolic interactionism
How do people manage their lives when suffering from illness? How do they cope?
How do individuals minimize social stigma?
How do individuals accept themselves and work hard to fulfil role expectations?
What does it mean to be ill? Disabled? Different?
Sick role behaviour
What influences sick / illness / health behaviour?
Culture of poverty explanation
Sense of powerlessness and fatalism
-accepts the symptomatology and diagnosis of medical care system
1. Free or exempt from normal social roles
2. Not directly responsible for their plight
3. Attempt to get well
4. Must seek competent help and cooperate
Cost-benefit approach - social factors impact the amount of time and resources available to seek help
and alter behaviour January 17, 2011 RESEARCH IN HEALTH STUDIES LEC#4
Models of Health Behaviour
Models of adherence
Models of behaviour and behaviour change
Health belief model - people’s behaviour related to: Perceptions of how severe their illness is, How
susceptible they are to the illness, Costs and benefits incurred in seeking a specific action, Trigger-