An Integrated Socio-Environmental Model of Health and Well-Being: a Conceptual Framework Exploring the Joint Contribution of Environmental and Social Exposures to Health and Disease Over the Life Span

Hector A. Olvera Alvarez, Allison A. Appleton, Christina H. Fuller, Annie Belcourt, Laura D. Kubzansky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose of the review: Environmental and social determinants of health often co-occur, particularly among socially disadvantaged populations, yet because they are usually studied separately, their joint effects on health are likely underestimated. Building on converging bodies of literature, we delineate a conceptual framework to address these issues. Recent findings: Previous models provided a foundation for study in this area, and generated research pointing to additional important issues. These include a stronger focus on biobehavioral pathways, both positive and adverse health outcomes, and intergenerational effects. To accommodate the expanded set of issues, we put forward the Integrated Socio-Environmental Model of Health and Well-Being (ISEM), which examines how social and environmental factors combine and potentially interact, via multi-factorial pathways, to affect health and well-being over the life span. We then provide applied examples including the study of how food environments affect dietary behavior. Summary: The ISEM provides a comprehensive, theoretically informed framework to guide future research on the joint contribution of social and environmental factors to health and well-being across the life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cumulative exposures
  • Health disparities
  • Life course
  • Social determinants
  • Total environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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