Social Health – Understanding the Psychological Underpinnings
Social Determinants of Health is the social and economic factors that affect individual and family differences in health state. It is an ongoing debate by many health experts as to what causes health differences between men and women, or blacks and whites, or Asian and White people. Although scientists have some common ideas about what causes health differences, they continue to disagree on the exact causes. The Social Sciences Research Council of America (SSCRA) has conducted many studies that attempt to tie social differences in physical health, mental health, and well-being.
The SSCRA takes the results of both scientific and social science research into account when determining what the causes of social life are. They look for patterns and differences and attempt to find relationships between those patterns and the causes. The causes include such things as race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, cultural norms, age, sex, religion, medical history, and location. They further take differences in physical and mental health and social environments into consideration as well.
The SSCRA also takes the results of studies on the social health and environment into consideration when examining differences in mental health and physical health and their relationship. The causes of difference in the mental aspects of life can be complex. However, they usually fall into three categories: cognitive training, social support, and life experiences. People who have a high level of cognitive training tend to do better in cognitive-based tests, have higher IQ’s, and are more successful at work and in school. Those with a social support network are more likely to have positive social environments, are satisfied with their relationships, and have higher self-esteem and lower stress levels.
Sociological context refers to the ways people organize their social lives. Societies that are characterized by stable relationships, positive social interactions, and trust in the community, are known to have healthy social health. A study on healthy relationships showed that participants who live within a supportive network have higher social intelligence, higher positive associations, higher social norms, and a higher sense of social responsibility. Those who do not have such networks are less intelligent, have lower social norms, and lower trust in the community. This proves that social context is a crucial element in the development of mental health.
The SSCRAs focus on the dimensions of healthy interpersonal relationships. The two major components of healthy interpersonal relationships are good communication and good social spaces. These factors affect how people interact with each other in the community and how they relate to the wider society. It is important to note that although the media portrays unhealthy social situations as normal, it is wise to remember that sensationalism may feed a destructive cycle that leads to poor health outcomes.
The theory of social health has implications for both humans and other living organisms. We know that humans thrive in healthy social environments. In animals and birds this means that animals live in areas where they are able to form and maintain healthy social relationships with others. In humans it includes both humans and other primates that move into settlements or bands and engage in different types of hunting and gathering. The theory of social health emphasizes the need for healthy individuals, especially individuals with good interpersonal relationships and good social environments.
The importance of social connections extends beyond humans as other animals such as chimpanzees, dolphins, and bonobos demonstrate a similar degree of social skill and survival orientation in their behavior. They have been found to share common characteristics that are shared across many species of animals, including high levels of sociability and a need to establish and maintain relationships. Chimpanzees living in the wild routinely cooperate with other chimpanzees in order to meet new people. Bonzo animals, such as gerbils, also demonstrate complex social skills and an interest in other individuals.
As we can see, the theories of social health extend well beyond the domain of psychology and incorporate aspects of physical health, mental health, and interpersonal relationships. They are intimately linked and serve as a basis for addressing many of the challenges associated with being living alone, like loneliness anxiety, as well as issues of security and safety, like dealing with crime and violence. Perhaps surprisingly, this research has even implications for understanding obesity treatment.