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Course Catalog

410.600.01 Fundamentals of Health, Behavior and Society

Health Behavior and Society
1st term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 5:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Jill Owczarzak
Course Instructors:

Introduces students to a social ecological [and a life course] perspective of population health. Challenges students to address societal and structural forces such as socioeconomic position, racial and ethnic and gender sources of inequality as well as interpersonal processes reflected in norms, networks, and social capital. Focuses on behavior, communication, decision-making, and health outcomes at the individual, family and community level. Applies these social and behavioral perspectives to a better understanding of health problems and prepares students to develop effective public health interventions for individuals, families, communities and populations. Provides students with skills to apply social and behavioral science principles and methods in their future public health research and practice.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify basic theories, concepts, and models from a range of social and behavioral science disciplines that are used in public health research and practice.
  2. Describe the socioecological perspective and how social and behavioral factors affect health outcomes and public health responses.
  3. Summarize public health research literature and explain how a study’s theoretical framework, methods, and findings fit within a socioecological perspective.
  4. Use the socioecological model and its underlying theoretical perspectives to identify and explain multiple determinants of health and their influences on health and health behavior.
  5. Compare how different theories and levels from the socioecological model shape our understanding of public health problems and their solutions.
  6. Evaluate public health interventions to identify their theoretical foundations and assess how they address health determinants outlined by the socioecological model.
Methods of Assessment:

Journal club discussion and presentation: 15%
In-class discussion activities and CoursePlus discussion forum posts: 15%
Discussion posts and responses 45%;
Intervention paper: 25%

Enrollment Restriction:

Graduate students

Instructor Consent:

No consent required