Course: Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health

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Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health

Gambian families visiting the regional clinic. Photo by mknobil from Some rights reserved.



Larry Wissow

Originally Offered:

Fall 2006

Offered By:

Department of Health, Behavior, and Society

Course Number:



The course is designed to help students develop basic literacy regarding social concepts and processes that influence health status and public health interventions. The course also hopes to help students develop insight into populations with whom they have worked in the past or will work in the future, and to develop one kind of effective writing tool (the narrative) for communicating about psychosocial issues in public health. These overall aims are approached through lectures, discussion, readings, workshopping, individual compositions, and group discussion of student writings.

Course Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with views on key concepts that form a basis for literacy in the social and behavioral aspects of public health: culture, race/ethnicity, gender, poverty/disparities, factors related to behavior change, community, organizational climate, family.
  2. To familiarize students with the concept of a narrative as a therapeutic, policy, and investigative tool.
  3. To help develop empathy for and a collaborative stance toward populations with whom one will work in the field of public health.
  4. To promote interest in further study of the social and behavioral determinants of health.