Course: Health Behavior Change at the Individual, Household and Community Levels

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Homework Assigments

» Response Paper (15%)

15% of each students grade is for a response paper based on concepts discussed during the first two discussion groups, and/or during lectures in the first two modules of the course.

For this response paper, the student must write a 4-5 page double-spaced discussion paper (not counting list of references) going into more detail on an issue or concept of interest to the student that came up during discussion sessions 1 and 2 and/or the lectures in the first third of the course. In this paper, the student should clearly describe the issue or concept of interest. If writing about an issue, the student should discuss areas of agreement and disagreement regarding the issue and provide his or her position on the issue and justify this position. If writing about a concept, the student should discuss how the concept could be applied to a specific public health topic, explain how the concept helps explain a phenomenon or response related to that health topic, and discuss limitations of applying the concept to that health topic.

It is not a requirement to look up additional references. Grading of papers will be based primarily on demonstration of familiarity with and appropriate citation of the assigned readings for the lectures, not the number of additional articles retrieved and cited. The grading form for the response paper is found on page 46 of this syllabus.

The response paper should reflect understanding on the part of the student not only of the material covered in the discussion session, but also of other lectures in the course up to that point.  This is a good opportunity to integrate previous professional and personal experiences with concepts introduced in the course.

» Draft of Final Assignment (10%)

Students must select one of three scenarios or an alternative scenario.

While the three scenarios are the default scenarios, students are free to select an alternative scenario. If a student selects an alternative scenario, they must include a justification for selecting it. Alternative scenarios may be related to the dissertation research topic of a doctoral student, the capstone project of a MPH student, or the internship of a MSPH student.

Students must write a complete answer for Question #1 of the final assignment, up to 4 pages. This will be graded.

Students must write an outline of Questions #2 and 3 of the final assignment.  This will be graded for completion only.

» Final Assignment (50%)

Question #1 (10 points):  A comprehensive intervention package typically includes components targeted at different groups. Students must list the different groups that should be reached, and then select one group that they feel is a priority for intervention, and list the key behaviors they should practice. While it is possible to list 15 or 20 behaviors, students should try to list 3-4 behaviors only. Students must provide a rationale for selecting the group and the behaviors. Students are asked to provide detail on one group only, because it isn�t feasible to provide detail on strategies for promoting behavior change for multiple groups in 10 pages. (Note that this questions is graded twice during the course: in the draft assignment and in the final, revised version.  Q1 counts for 100% of the grade for the draf assignment and 10% of the grade for the final assignment)

Question #2 (30 points): Students must indicate 2 or 3 models or concepts from the course that they think are most applicable to developing an appropriate intervention and explain why. It is not a requirement that students choose an individual-level behavior change model. A model for what Question #2 might look like can be found in the section entitled "Theoretical Foundations for Intervention" on Pages 424-425 of this article: Khumalo-Sakutukwa G, Morin SF, Fritz K, Charlebois ED, van Rooyen H, Chingono A, et al. Project Accept (HPTN 043): a community-based intervention to reduce HIV incidence in populations at risk for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and Thailand. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2008;49(4):422-31.

Question #3 (60 points): Students have two options: (1) Students describe the components in their plan of action/intervention, and justify the components included. A model for whate Question #3 might look like is in the section "Project ACCEPT Intervention Components" on pages 425-427 of the article by Khumalo-Sakutukwa et al. mentioned above. OR (2) Students describe what other actions might be taken, instead of intervening or in preparation for an intervention that might be put in place at some point in the future. Students must also justify the actions they are choosing to take.