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Influences on health decision-making and risk behaviours

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graham jones

on 7 July 2013

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Transcript of Influences on health decision-making and risk behaviours

Influences on health decision-making and risk behaviours
The choices you make that affect your health, or the health of others, are influenced by many factors. Adolescence is a time when you are establishing a personal identify and gaining greater independence from your family. These outside influences are partly why some young people place their health at risk through risk taking behaviours such as speeding, binge drinking, sexual experimentation or disordered eating plans.

The influences are:
Individual Factors

Your health decisions can be influenced by your values and attitudes. Your family teaches you from an early age what is acceptable and unacceptable in the society that you live. As you gain increasing independence, your experiences may strengthen or challenge and oppose your values and attitudes and led to the formation of your own.
What influence has your family had on your eating habits? or your manners?

Who is the most significant person in your life?
Give an example of the influence they had over a decision you made
Sociocultural factors

Your behaviour is influenced by many sociocultural (social and cultural) factors. The 4 Sociocultural influences are:
- Family
- Peer group
- Gender
- Cultural
The family is a major sociocultural influence on your health decision-making.
Research shows that children who grow up in families that engage in health promoting behaviours will continue this practice throughout life.
Examples include non-smoking, playing games outside, wearing a seatbelt.
Peer group
Adolescents are also strongly influenced by their peer group, adopting behaviours that are similar to their friends as they strive to develop a personal identity.
Friends provide the supportive and accepting environment necessary to achieve the independence required to play a productive role in society.
However, at times, people adopt behaviours that conflict with their values and beliefs because they have been overridden by the influence of their peers.
Perceptions of masculinity and femininity can negatively impact on health decisions through the adoption of fad diets or disordered eating plans. Although those individuals who have high self-esteem and confidence are less likely to conform with social pressure to fit the idealised image.

This refers to the values, attitudes, beliefs and traditions of particular groups in society that are handed down from generation to generation.
The cultural image of the ‘Bronzed Aussie’ conflicts with the need to protect ourselves from the sun. Other cultural traditions also effect positive health decisions.
For example, some Islander nations believe that the bigger the person, the healthier they are. This contradicts our knowledge of healthy eating and the importance of physical activity.
Political factors

Federal, state and local governments in Australia are all responsible for distributing an annual health budget for the improvement and maintenance of health for all Australian’s.
This responsibility includes what health services there will be and what laws will be passed. Laws tend to be passed when health issues become prominent, increased cases or morbidity and mortality.
Examples include seat belts, BAC’s, speed limits, no smoking areas, health warnings on packaging, chemical waste laws and 16 yrs. of age as the minimum age for sex.

Regulations are also passed down from the government to minimise the risk of harm in schools. Surf survival certificates for students doing swimming for sport or rugby league coaching accreditation for coaches.
Economic factors

Economic factors take into account our income, education, employment and occupation and are reflected in our material possessions, such as home or car owned.
Australia’s wealth is unequally distributed with some groups being severely socioeconomically disadvantaged.
People with lower incomes are more likely to experience ill health as are the aged, Australians born overseas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders.
Environmental factors

The environment in which we live has a bearing on the decisions we make about health and the likelihood of adopting risk behaviours.
Examples of improving our environment include improvements to water quality and sewage treatment . Poor environmental conditions in our advanced society are the production of industrial waste and vehicle emissions that contribute to poor air quality.
What health promoting behaviours have you witnessed from your parents/relatives that you have adopted?

Do you think you will continue doing it throughout your lifetime?
What are some examples of behaviours that teens adopt that conflict with their values and beliefs?
Have you adopted a behaviour that went against the values and beliefs instilled in you from your parents?
What other cultural beliefs also contradict with what you know about healthy behaviour's?
Can you identify more laws that the government has passed to address a particular health issue?
What about a regulation that exists in your workplace or school?
Why are these groups more likely to experience ill health?
Can you think of a positive and negative environment factor that exists in Gunnedah or your town?
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