Social And Cultural Factors That Can Influence Your Health

Socially rejected, aggressive 3–5-year-old children have demonstrated stress hormone levels in the top third of their class, often spiking to the “stress” level . And children demonstrating difficulties with aggression and peer rejection in middle school are more likely than other children to have demonstrated such problems during their toddler years . epidemic theories, based primarily on the power of peer influences to spread problem behavior. There are many definitions of a neighborhood or community environment (Brooks-Gunn and Duncan, 1997).

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Children have unique susceptibilities to chemical exposures (see Box 3-2). Attempts to make this transition are met with a variety of parental and cultural responses, all of which influence infants in ways that facilitate or impede their development. Fetal undernutrition is believed to induce persistent changes in several metabolic pathways, but the exact mechanisms are only now being pieced together through a range of animal experiments and human measurement studies (Seckl, 1998; Barker, 1998). Because it is likely that events occurring at other times modify prior influences, there is a growing interest in understanding the predisease pathways and biological changes that occur prior to the recognition of a vast array of clinical outcomes.

As injury deaths continue to decline, nonfatal injuries continue to be important causes of child morbidity and disability and substantially reduce quality of life, especially among adolescents. However, it should be noted that data collection on nonfatal injuries is incomplete. Characterization of exposures over time depends on developmental stage and the mechanism by which the agent produces its effect . Multiple types of exposure may interact to produce their effect by the same mechanism, as for example the exposure to multiple insecticides that interfere with cholinesterases .

Because of the interactive nature of video games, both researchers and the public are particularly concerned about the effects on children of violent content in such games . The importance of the peer group increases, as well as the pressures to conform to it. Poor social acceptance is problematic for children during childhood and beyond.

In a recent study, immigrant parents of different cultural backgrounds—Cambodian, Dominican, and Portuguese—differed significantly with regard to the areas of their children’s education in which they were involved (García Coll and Weisz, 2002). These differences existed even when a large majority of parents in all groups reported valuing education and having high aspirations for their children’s educational attainment.

  • improve the health sector and the well-being of Nigerians, there would be a need for scale-up, strengthening the health systems including improved health sector financing, and strengthening the primary health care system.
  • Interestingly, social comparison plays an important role in how someone perceives their health.
  • Most recently, there was formulation of the National Strategic Health Development Plan 2010–2015.
  • According to a study recently published in Health Psychology, how people perceive their physical activity levels compared with those of other individuals significantly predicts mortality risk.

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Major commercial thoroughfares and feeder roads that combine high speed, high traffic volume, and frequent “curb cuts” for drivers entering and exiting stores may pose a special hazard. The enormous impact of injury on children’s health is manifest by the fact that approximately 18 hospitalizations and 233 emergency department visits occur for every injury death .

Converging findings from genetics and molecular biology demonstrate that a host of internal and external signals can stimulate or inhibit gene expression, including subtle factors such as the light-dark cycle and tactile stimulation . The expression of certain genetic characteristics depends on the environment in which they occur.

Although relatively little research has assessed the nutritional environments provided by parents for overweight children, existing data suggest a strong environmental contribution confounded by genetic interactions. While the need to design effective family-based eating programs is clear, the evidence base for the effectiveness of weight loss such programs in the prevention or reduction of childhood obesity is limited . Although these basic approaches to parenting appear to apply throughout a child’s life course, the tasks facing parents change as the child develops, and thus parenting must change. For example, beyond tending to the infant’s biological needs, the task for the parent of infants and young toddlers is the establishment of secure attachments . The built environment contributes to motor-vehicle-related morbidity and mortality among children by creating places that rely heavily on increasing driving time in cars and by developing certain kinds of roads that may be unusually hazardous for drivers, pedestrians, or both.

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In empirical studies, it is typically a geographic area defined by the Census Bureau . But there are social definitions of communities that transcend geographic boundaries and can vary across families and ethnic groups . Parents’ cultural backgrounds have been associated with the learning environments provided to children of all ages.

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