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Social and Behavioral Aspects of Public Health

Summer Institute
Health, Behavior and Society
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Start Date
Monday, June 5, 2023
End Date
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Class Time(s)
M, Tu, W, Th, F, 9:00am - 12:00pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
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
Special Comments

Course offered remotely.