Thursday, April 21, 2011

[EQ] Why Social Determinants?

Why Social Determinants?

Neal Halfon, Kandyce Larson and Shirley Russ
Healthcare Quarterly, 14(Sp) 2010: 8-20

Available at:

“…..There is overwhelming evidence that social factors have profound influences on health. Children are particularly sensitive to social determinants, especially in the early years. Life course models view health as a developmental process, the product of multiple gene and environment interactions. Adverse early social exposures become programmed into biological systems, setting off chains of risk that can result in chronic illness in mid-life and beyond. Positive health-promoting influences can set in motion a more virtuous and health-affirming cycle, leading to more optimal health trajectories.

Mounting an effective response to social determinants will involve both direct social policy initiatives designed to eliminate poverty and inequality, and indirect approaches focused on disrupting pathways between social risks and poor health outcomes. To be effective, these indirect strategies will require nothing short of a transformation of existing child health systems. Parents and professionals must work together from the ground up, raising public awareness about social determinants of health and implementing cross-sector place-based initiatives designed to promote positive health in childhood.

The social determinants of health are composed of the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, together with the systems that are put in place to deal with illness (World Health Organization [WHO] 2008). The distribution of money, power and resources within society, influenced at least in part by policy choices, economics and politics, shape these conditions at local, regional and national levels. …………”

Healthcare Quarterly - Vol. 14 Special Issue | Child Health in Canada

The Editor's Letter Mary Jo Haddad
Theories And Consequences
Why Social Determinants? Neal Halfon, Kandyce Larson and Shirley Russ
The Link between Social Inequality and Child Health Outcomes  Avram Denburg and Denis Daneman
 Social Geography of Developmental Health in the Early Years Clyde Hertzman

 Social Determinants in Context

Aboriginal Child Health and the Social Determinants: Why Are These Children So Disadvantaged?
Brian Postl, Catherine Cook and Michael Moffatt
Immigrant Health and the Children and Youth of Canada: Are We Doing Enough?  Tony Barozzino

Policy Innovations

Family as a Social Determinant of Health: Implications for Governments and Institutions to Promote the Health and Well-Being of Families
Ted McNeill
Turning the Social Determinants of Health to Our Advantage: Policy Fundamentals for a Better Approach to Children's Health
Adalsteinn D. Brown, Wendy Katherine, Katy Allen, Uyen Quach, Elizabeth Chiu and Lauren Bialystok

Looking Ahead

The Challenge of Child and Youth Mental Health  Mary Jo Haddad and Michael Kirby


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