Course: Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health

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Suggested books involving narrative and public health topics

Coles R. Children of Crisis series. Coles is a child psychiatrist who has written many books using and about narrative and fiction. The Children of Crisis series was about the experiences of children during desegregation in the American south.

Cousins N. Anatomy of an illness: as perceived by the patient. New York , Bantam Books, 1981. An erudite and personal account of the multiple paths to dealing with an illness.

Duff A. Once were warriors. New York , Vintage Books, 1995. A novel, but written by someone who has written non-fiction about the same subject - modern life among the Maori, New Zealand 's first people.

Fadiman A. The spirit catches you and you fall down. New York . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998. Fascinating non-fiction about the case of a Hmong family and their unfortunate encounters with the medical system in California.

Kotlowitz A. There are no children here. New York , Doubleday, 1991. The story of two boys growing up in a housing project in Chicago .

Kozol J. Rachel and her children: homeless families in America . New York , Ballantine Books, 1989.

Rothman, BK. Weaving a family: untangling race and adoption. Beacon Press, 2005.

Simon D, Burns E. The corner: a year in the life of an inner-city neighborhood. New York , Broadway Books, 1997. Detailed documentary about the people on and around a corner in West Baltimore were hard drugs are sold and used.

Agee J, Evans W. Let us now praise famous men; three tenant families (1941). Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1960.

Williams WC. The doctor stories. (Various editions)

Topic Readings
Unit 1: Ecology, Narrative, and Meaning


Sharf BF. Out of the closet and into the legislature: breast cancer stories. How narratives about one disease have shaped policy. Health Affairs 2001;January-February;1:213-218.

Newman TB. The power of stories over statistics. BMJ 2003;327:1424-1427.

Lerman, Liz. Toward a process for critical response. High Performance. #64, Winter 1993.


Pennebaker JW, Seagal JD. Forming a story: the health benefits of narrative. J Clin Psychol. 1999 Oct;55(10):1243-54.

Sameroff AJ. Environmental risk factors in infancy. Pediatrics. 1998 Nov;102(5 Suppl E):1287-92.

Shelov SP. The use of media to impact legislation. Pediatric Annals 1995;24:419-425.

Steiner JF. The use of stories in clinical research and health policy. JAMA 2005;294:2901-2904.

Unit 2: Gender TBA
Unit 3: Cultural Perspective


Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B. Culture, illness, and care. Annals of Internal Medicine 1978;88:251-258 .


O'Nell TD. Cultural formulation of psychiatric diagnosis. Psychotic depression and alcoholism in an American Indian man. Cult Med Psychiatry. 1998 Mar;22(1):123-36.

Hunt LM, Schneider S, Comer B. Should "acculturation" be a variable in health research? A critical review of research on US Hispanics. Soc Sci Med. 2004 Sep;59(5):973-86.

Cauce AM, Domench-Rodriguez M, Paradis M. Cochran BN, Shea JM, Srebnik D, Baydar N. Cultural and contextual influences in mental health seeking: a focus on ethnic minority youth. J Cons Clin Psych 2002:70:44-55.

Unit 4: Race and Ethnicity


Van Ryn M, Fu SS. Paved with good intentions: do public health and human service providers contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in health? Am J Public Health. 2003 Feb;93(2):248-55.


Nobles M. History counts: a comparative analysis of racial/color categorization in US and Brazilian censuses. Am J Public Health. 2000 Nov;90(11):1738-45.

Harrell JP, Hall S, Taliaferro J. Physiological responses to racism and discrimination: an assessment of the evidence. Am J Public Health. 2003 Feb;93(2):243-8.

Bamshad M. Genetic influences on health. Does race matter? JAMA 2005;294:937-946.

Unit 5: Poverty, Social Support, and Social Capital


Putnam R. Social capital measurement and consequences. ISUMA 2001 (spring):41-51.


Ceballo R, McLoyd VC. Social support and parenting in poor, dangerous neighborhoods. Child Development 2002;73:1310-1321.

Costello EJ, Compton SN, Keeler G, Angold A. Relationships between poverty and psychopathology: A natural experiment. JAMA 2003;290:2023-2029.

Cohen DA, Farley TA, Mason K. Why is poverty unhealthy? Social and physical mediators. Soc Sci Med 2003;57: 1631-1641.

Ronzio CR, Pamuk E, Squires GD. The politics of preventable death: local spending, income inequality, and prematurity in US cities. J Epidemiol Comm Health 2004;58:175-179.

Unit 6: Role of Families


Perrino T, Gonzalez-Soldevilla A, Pantin H, Szapocznik J. The role of families in HIV prevention: a review. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 2000;3:81-96.


Repetti RL, Taylor SE, Seeman TE. Risky families: family social environments and the mental and physical health of offspring. Psychological Bulletin 2002;128:330-366.

Unit 7: Rational Decision Making


Hibbard JH, Slovic P, Jewett JJ. Informing consumer decisions in health care: implications from decision-making research. MMFQ 1997;75:395-414.


Gerrard M, Gibbons FX, Reis-Bergan M. The effect of risk communication on risk perceptions: the significance of individual differences. JNCI Monographs 1999;25:94-100.

Taylor SE, Kemeny ME, Reed GM, Bower JE, Gruenewald TL. Psychological resources, positive illusions, and health. American Psychologist 2000;55:99-109.

Lakoff G. Don't think of an elephant! White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2004.

Unit 8: Spirituality


Powell, Lynda H.; Shahabi, Leila; Thoresen, Carl E. Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. American Psychologist. 2003 Jan Vol 58(1) 36-52


Shahabi L, Powell LH, Musick MA, Pargament KI, Thoresen CE, Williams D, Underwood L, Ory MA. Correlates of self-perceptions of spirituality in American adults. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2002 Winter; 24(1) 59-68

Larimore WL, Parker M, Crowther M. Should clinicians incorporate positive spirituality into their practices?  What does the evidence say? Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2002 Winter; 24(1):69-73

Unit 9: Change Within Systems


Cabana MD, Rand CS, Powe NR, Wu AW, Wilson MH, Abboud PA, Rubin HR. Why don't physicians follow clinical practice guidelines? A framework for improvement. JAMA. 1999 Oct 20;282(15):1458-65

Miller WR. Motivational interviewing: research, practice, and puzzles. Addictive Behaviors 1996;21:835-842.


Miller WL, McDaniel RR Jr, Crabtree BF, Stange KC. Practice jazz: understanding variation in family practices using complexity science. J Fam Pract. 2001 Oct;50(10):872-8. 

Cifuentes M, et al. Prescription for health: changing primary care practice to foster healthy behaviors. Ann Fam Med 2005;3(supp 2):S4-S12.

Cohen DJ, Tallia AF, Crabtree BF, Young DM. Implementing health behavior change in primary care: lessons from prescription for health. Ann Fam Med 2005:3(Suppl 2):S12-S19.

Goldman LK, Glantz SA. Evaluation of antismoking advertising campaigns. JAMA 1998;279:772-777.

Prochaska JO. A stage paradigm for integrating clinical and public health approaches to smoking cessation. Addictive Behaviors. 1996;21:721-732.