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Course Catalog


Term: 1st term
Credits: 4 credits
Contact: Lawrence Wissow
Academic Year: 2012 - 2013
Course Instructor:

Introduces students to the ecologic framework of health behavior that integrates perspectives from anthropology, sociology, and cognitive sciences. Uses a combination of lectures, readings, discussions, and small group exercises to make the case that health behaviors often must be viewed simultaneously at multiple ecologic levels in order to craft effective interventions. Includes discussion of socio-economic status, culture, and race at the macro ecologic level, social networks and social capital at the mezzo level, and influences on rational decision-making at the micro level.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Explain the role of theory in explaining health behavior and behavior change, including its application to public health interventions
Take a challenging health behavior and describe from multiple theoretical vantage points the forces potentially shaping it or offering opportunities for interventions
Assess how constructs from different theories relate to each other and select appropriate theories based on audience characteristics, health issues, and desired behavior change
Apply different theories to interventions, depending on the ecological levels at which the problems are framed and solutions proposed

Methods of Assessment: Written mid-term and final exams, small-group projects
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Monday 3:30 - 5:20
  • Wednesday 3:30 - 5:20
Enrollment Minimum: 20
Instructor Consent: No consent required
Auditors Allowed: Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail