Social Epidemiology: Social and Environmental Causes Critique

  • Created by: Psych951
  • Created on: 09-01-19 12:05

Social Epidemiology: Social and Environmental Causes Critique


  • Research supports the idea that individual-based factors should be explored in their social context (Link & Phelan 1995)
  • Broad-based social interventions are effective
  • Many social factors are the root of disease and also access to health-determining resources are socially determined
  • Evidence supports the impact of environmental factors


  • Particularly in Western society, the top causes of disease are lifestyle choices and so ultimately a more proximate tier should be investigated
  • Even the social contexts are personalised for each individual and so the degree tow which these social factors affect individuals will have great variance
  • Psychosocial factors mediate the effects of social structural factors - Many confounding variables and measurement incongruency (Martikainen et al 2002)


Investigating the social and environmental causes of health is important because they often provide a context for other factors, however an integrated approach should be adopted due to the undeniable influence of psychological and personal factors 


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