Behavioral Science at the Crossroads in Public Health – Health System Example

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"Behavioral Science at the Crossroads in Public Health"  is an engrossing example of a paper on the health system. Social-ecological models were primarily developed with the intention to comprehend the interrelation amid personal and environmental factors with regard to public health. As per such a model, individuals are segregated on various levels, which include individual, societal, community and relationship among others (Golden & Earp, 2012).   Thesis Statement This essay intends to comprehend the individual health education in a larger context, despite the popularity of social-ecological models in health promotion programs. In this context, the paper tends to present the pros and cons of using individual approaches in health promotion programs. Pros and Cons of Using Individual Approaches in the Larger Context Pros Notably, the belief of an individual directly impacts his/her behavioral traits (Sachs, 2005).

In this regard, individualistic in the domain of health promotion might ensure more accurate and effective results, as with this approach individual traits and beliefs will be more apparent. Individual approaches in this particular domain might also provide a brief picture of how a particular individual will deal with any negative outcomes (Dutta-Bergman, 2009).

The Social-ecological models focus on identifying characteristics of the individual and the environment in which they are vulnerable to health complications. This has a direct positive impact on health promotions in the public health domain. Moreover, it is also apparent that a considerable percent of health promotions are directly linked with individualistic behavior. Thus, the use of the individualistic intervention in a larger context is a potential benefit (Golden & Earp, 2012). It is also believed that poor health conditions among people are often a result of inappropriate choices.   In this regard, the use of individualistic is proved to be beneficial to understand individual behavioral traits that affect the overall public health (Scambler, 1998).

The individualistic approach is the base to establish to initiate a socialistic or collective change in the public health domain (Hall & Rossi, 2007). This can also be seen as a potential advantage.                                                                                               Cons The individualistic approach usually takes into consideration only the individual aspects to determine the elements of public health. However, it must be mentioned that public health is entirely a social matter and an individualistic approach in the same would certainly limit the acceptability of the outcome (Bandura, 2004).

It is also believed that individual approaches or interventions are quite separate from the social context and it ensures a negligible contribution to the collective social benefits in the public health domain (Kriege, 2008). Again, it is also important to state that the individualistic approach only depicts individual risk factors for a specific person and the results could be implemented universally as it lacks generalizability (Glass & McAtee, 2005). Data obtained through individualistic approaches are more of a one-directional approach and can be acceptable or useful in only specific cases, which is less prevalent in other methods (Hatchett & et al. , 2013).                   Conclusion From the above analysis, it can be concluded that public health and safety is one of the major issues of debate in the present-day context.

There are numerous social-ecological models that are used with regard to health promotions. However, individualistic health promotion has become popular in recent times in the domain of public health.      


Bandura, A. (2004). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Health Education & Behavior, 143-164.

Dutta-Bergman, M. J. (2009). Theory and practice in health communication campaigns: a critical interrogation. Purdue University, 18 (2): 103-122.

Glass, T. A., & McAtee, M. J. (2005). Behavioral science at the crossroads in public health: Extending horizons, envisioning the future. Social Science & Medicine, 62: 1650-1671.

Golden, S. D., & Earp, J. A. L. (2012). Social ecological approaches to individuals and their contexts: twenty years of health education & behavior health promotion interventions. Health Education & Behavior, 39 (3): 364-372.

Hatchett, A., Hallam, J. S., & Ford, A. M. (2013). Evaluation of a social cognitive theory-based email intervention designed to influence the physical activity of survivors of breast cancer. Wiley Online Library, 22: 829-836.

Hall, K. L., & Rossi, J. S. (2007). Meta-analytic examination of the strong and weak principles across 48 health behaviors. Science Direct, 46: 266-274.

Kriege, N. (2008). Proximal, distal, and the politics of causation: what's level got to do with it? American Journal of Public Health, 98 (2): 221-230.

Scambler, G., & Higgs, P. (1998). Modernity, medicine and health. Routledge, 1-125.

Sachs, J. D. (2005). The end of poverty. The Penguin Press, 1-396.

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