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Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health


East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
Health Behavior and Society
4 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M Tu W Th F,  9:00am - 12:00pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Michelle Kaufman

Explores social influences on behavior and health. Teaches what research and experience in public health practice can tell us about how to affect social and structural change to improve the health of the public. Draws on theoretical, epidemiological, and case study evidence, uses specific health issues such as substance use, HIV, and stigma, and explores and illustrates the effects of social structures and practices on individual health status and behaviors. Develops a deeper understanding of the key concepts that inform a social and structural perspective on health, including race, class, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, environments, and social networks and social capital. Also instructs and challenges students to think in terms of multi-level interventions that can influence these factors toward improved health outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Recognize the role of social and behavioral factors in shaping global mortality and morbidity
  2. Apply an ecological perspective to health problems
  3. Display basic literacy with key concepts of social and behavioral aspects of public health: culture, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, poverty/disparities, factors related to individual behavior change, community empowerment and structural policy change
  4. Identify and critque individual versus environmental approaches to health
  5. Make a case for the importance of focusing on social and behavioral factors as part of a comprehensive public health strategy
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 25% Participation
  • 35% Midterm Paper
  • 40% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Course offered remotely.