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Policy Interventions for Health Behavior Change

East Baltimore
2nd term
Health Behavior and Society
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Friday,  9:00 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Joanna Cohen

Examines the major theoretical frameworks (e.g., policy streams, advocacy coalition framework, punctuated equilibrium theory, ambiguity-conflict model) relevant to the development, enactment, implementation and evaluation of policy interventions that support health behavior change. Explores the roles of ideas, interests, institutions and key actors in the policy process. Discusses how the environment can be influenced to improve the chances of implementing effective interventions to improve the public’s health. Includes case studies from the areas of tobacco control, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, obesity/physical activity, and other health topics to critically explore the strengths and limitations of policy change theories as they relate to current hot topics in the area of health, behavior and society.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Explain and critically evaluate the major theoretical frameworks used to analyze policy change
  2. Discuss the major influences that determine which interventions are chosen and implemented
  3. Describe the major policy tools and players involved in developing and implementing policy interventions to support health behavior change and improve health
  4. Identify the key factors that affect the successful implementation of policy interventions
  5. Describe primary approaches used to evaluate policy interventions
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Written Assignment(s)
  • 20% Homework
  • 5% Assignments
  • 45% Final Paper

Enrollment Restriction:

Graduate students

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Undergraduate students require permission from the instructor.

For consent, contact: