Income inequality and health: pathways and mechanisms. (1/142)

The relationship between income and health is well established: the higher an individual's income, the better his or her health. However, recent research suggests that health may also be affected by the distribution of income within society. We outline the potential mechanisms underlying the so-called relative income hypothesis, which predicts that an individual's health status is better in societies with a more equal distribution of incomes. The effects of income inequality on health may be mediated by underinvestment in social goods, such as public education and health care; disruption of social cohesion and the erosion of social capital; and the harmful psychosocial effects of invidious social comparisons.  (+info)

A method in search of a theory: peer education and health promotion. (2/142)

Peer education has grown in popularity and practice in recent years in the field of health promotion. However, advocates of peer education rarely make reference to theories in their rationale for particular projects. In this paper the authors review a selection of commonly cited theories, and examine to what extent they have value and relevance to peer education in health promotion. Beginning from an identification of 10 claims made for peer education, each theory is examined in terms of the scope of the theory and evidence to support it in practice. The authors conclude that, whilst most theories have something to offer towards an explanation of why peer education might be effective, most theories are limited in scope and there is little empirical evidence in health promotion practice to support them. Peer education would seem to be a method in search of a theory rather than the application of theory to practice.  (+info)

Individual and large-group identity: parallels in development and characteristics in stability and crisis. (3/142)

A comprehensive understanding of international and interethnic conflict must include a psychological dimension. This paper explores concepts of individual and large-group identity, their inherent connection, and some essential large-group rituals that aim to repair and maintain them. Human psychological development not only involves dynamics associated with one's parents, family, and intimate environment, but also those of one's ethic, religious or national group. Although this may simply be called "acculturation", the evolution of large-group identity involves specific psychological processes. When a large group perceives that its identity is threatened, the group and its individual members typically experience anxiety which is then expressed in certain ritualistic behaviors that can range from benign to highly malignant. Social scientists, diplomats and others who seek to analyze social and political phenomena and formulate policies related to them could benefit from a better understanding of these aspects of human interaction.  (+info)

Psychosocial effects of disaster: birth rate in Aberfan. (4/142)

An increased birth rate occurred in Aberfan during the five years after the disaster there in 1966. It was not confined to the bereaved parents.  (+info)

Intrauterine device retention: a study of selected social-psychological aspects. (5/142)

A retrospective study of the association between selected sociopsychological variables and the early discontinuation of intrauterine device use was carried out among patients of the Central Clinic of Family Health, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana. In toto, 270 women cooperated in a standardized interview which was administered by trained auxiliaries of the clinic's staff; Investigation of sociodemographic characteristics shows a greater proportion of the terminators to be younger, more mobile, and to have experienced more changes in marital partners. Continuers are at greater health risk in pregnancy as rated by the clinic at time of admission, but do not verbalize this as a concern. Responses relating to sexuality image and contraceptive attitudes indicate that a greater proportion of the terminators dislike an internal IUD self string check, hold a more pro-pregnancy attitude, do not feel dependent on the availability of contraceptives, and currently utilize the less effective contraceptive methods. Few significant differences are reported in the side effects experienced after IUD insertion by the terminators or continuers. However, the groups hold decidely different perceptions of the meaning of such complaints. A greater proportion of the terminators perceive themselves as being sick, take to bed during the menses, find that complaints disrupt their normal household activities, and are fearful of the meaning to their health of the difficulties experienced. The majority of both groups are functioning in a segregated marital role pattern. Terminators portray a tendency to be interacting with more "traditional" husbands who visualize the proper role for their wives as mothers whose duty it is to stay home. Continuers, to a greater degree, are more dominant individuals, make more decisions in the running of the home, and feel that contraception is their responsibility alone. Program implications take direction from the findings that the terminator is a more "costly" patient in terms of physician time and is at a decidely greater risk of final closure to all clinic contacts.  (+info)

'Settings' based health promotion: a review. (6/142)

Over the past 10 years, 'settings' based health promotion has become a central feature of efforts to promote health that recognize the significance of context. Emerging in part from a perception of an over-reliance on individualistic methods, the approach was built on a profound belief in its value and deployed a range of novel theoretical resources, mainly from organizational sociology and psychology. This initial enthusiasm has been maintained within policy directives, in the published literature and, from our own experience, amongst health promotion practitioners. At the same time, with the maturing of the approach, has come a healthy element of critical review. Drawing upon the literature and based upon our experiences within the Health Education Board for Scotland, this paper seeks to bring together a range of perspectives, casting a critical yet constructive eye on current settings theory and practice. The paper first reviews the nature of settings based work, highlighting the varied bases and expectations that underpin it. Similarly, the many factors that influence the ability of health promoters to deliver such activities are considered. In relation to the construction and delivery of such activity, the paper suggests that there needs to be an explicit and detailed assessment of the nature of the setting, the skills of the health promoter and the associated expectations.  (+info)

Not afraid to blame: the neglected role of blame attribution in medical consumerism and some implications for health policy. (7/142)

A crucial aspect of medical consumerism has been overlooked in past research and policymaking: how consumers decide whom to "blame" for bad outcomes. This study explores how, in a system increasingly dominated by managed care, these attributions affect consumers' attitudes and behavior. Using data from the experiences of people with serious mental illness, hypotheses are tested regarding the origins and consequences of blaming for medical consumerism. Blame was allocated to health plans in a manner similar, but not identical, to the way in which blame was allocated to health care professionals. Both allocations are shaped by enrollment in managed care, with blame allocation affecting consumers' subsequent willingness to talk about adverse events. Policy implications include the need for more finely tuned grievance procedures and better consumer education about managed care practices.  (+info)

Psychosocial factors at work, personality traits and depressive symptoms. Longitudinal results from the GAZEL Study. (8/142)

BACKGROUND: An association between stressful job conditions and depressive symptoms has been reported. This association could be explained by personality traits. AIMS: To examine the relationship between psychosocial factors at work and changes in depressive symptoms, taking into account personality traits. METHOD: The role of occupational characteristics, psychosocial stress and personality traits in predicting an increase of depressive symptoms was evaluated in 7729 men and 2790 women working at the French National Electricity and Gas Company, with a 3-year follow-up. RESULTS: In men, high decision latitude was predictive of a decrease in the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies - Depression scale (CES-D) scores. In both genders, high job demands and low social support at work were predictive of increased scores, irrespective of personality traits and covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Adverse psychosocial work conditions are predictors of depressive symptom worsening, independent of personality traits.  (+info)