SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES AND PUBLIC HEALTH
The core course provides an overview of the social and behavioral sciences and their importance in the inter-disciplinary field of public health. A primary emphasis is on the social-ecological model, its application to public health issues, and its use in the development of policies, strategies, interventions and programs. The course content will introduce students to several relevant social and behavioral theories as well as a range of community health assessment and planning models used by public health professionals in both domestic and international venues. Through a series of assigned readings, discussion exercises, group projects, quizzes and written assignments, students will enhance their knowledge and awareness of the role of social and behavioral sciences in public health and its relevance to their specific discipline. At the conclusion of the course students will be able to: identify the important social and behavioral determinants of health; describe the inter-relationships between the social, behavioral, bio-medical, physiological, and environmental factors related to individual and community health; identify the major health disparities related to social, behavioral and economic factors; describe the role of culture and socio-economic status in health behavior, access to services, and decision-making; and understand the importance of community partnerships and participatory approaches in the development, implementation, management and evaluation of community policies and programs.