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

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.

Keywords Total environment . Social determinants . Cumulative exposures . Life course . Health disparities

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Key Papers on Theory of Triadic Influence | Brian R. Flay, John Petraitis and Frank Snyder

Some theories of health behavior focus on proximal cognitive predictors of behavior, some focus on expectancy-value formulations, some focus on social support and bonding processes, some focus on social learning processes, and some point toward personality and intrapersonal processes. Very few extant theories of health behavior incorporate several of these viewpoints, and those that do are limited in various ways. We propose a new comprehensive theory that integrates constructs from all previous theories. Triadic influence theory includes seven “tiers” of “causes” of behavior that range from very proximal to distal to ultimate, and three “streams of influence” that flow through the seven “tiers”: (I) cultural- environmental influences on knowledge and values, influencing attitudes, (2) social situation-context influences on social bonding and social learning, influencing social normative beliefs, and (3) intrapersonal influences on self determination / control and social skills, leading to self-efficacy. In addition to the direct influences of these streams, there are important inter-stream effects and influences that flow between tiers. The theory is intended to account for factors that have direct effecls as well as indirect effects on behavior. It is also intended to account for both new behaviors and regular behavior. Experiences with related behaviors and early experiences with a new behavior lead to feedback loops through all three steams adding to the prior influences of these streams. Our integration of existing theories leads to a meta-theoretical view that suggests higher order descriptions and explanations of health behavior, leads to a new and comprehensive view of health behavior change, and suggests new approaches for health promotion and disease prevention.

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Beyond Science and Technology: Creating Planetary Health Needs Not Just ‘Head Stuff’, but Social Engagement and ‘Heart, Gut and Spirit’ Stuff | Prof Trevor Hancock

I have been involved in studying and working within what is now called the Anthropocene for almost 50 years, and in all that time, not only have we failed to make much progress, but the state of the Earth’s ecosystems has generally worsened. Yet somehow we must create a world in which everyone on Earth has good health and a good quality of life—a matter of social justice—while living within the physical and ecological constraints of the one small planet that is our home; this is the focus of the new field of planetary health. Our worsening situation is not due to lack of knowledge, science and technology; in broad terms, we knew most of the challenges and many of the needed solutions back in the 1970s. Instead, the challenges we face are social, rooted in cultural values, political ideologies, legal and economic systems, ethical principles and spiritual/religious beliefs. Therefore, we have to move beyond science and technology and address these broader socio-cultural issues by engaging in economic, legal and political work, complementing and supplementing ‘head stuff’ with ‘heart, gut and spirit stuff’, and working from the grass roots up.

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The Crossroads of Chemical Farming, Ecology & Human Health — A Path to Regeneration : Zach Bush MD

Discover how we can restore our health by restoring our soil. Zach Bush, triple-board certified MD, makes brilliant big picture connections between current commercial farming practices, gut health, and the meteoric rise of disease since the introduction of glyphosate—a powerful herbicide and antibiotic used in big agriculture.

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Measuring regenerative economics: 10 principles and measures undergirding systemic economic health

 Abstract

Applying network science concepts and methods to economic systems is not a new idea. In the last few decades, however, advances in non-equilibrium thermodynamics (i.e., self-organizing, open, dissipative, far-from-equilibrium systems), and nonlinear dynamics, network science, information theory, and other mathematical approaches to complex systems have produced a new set of concepts and methods, which are powerful for understanding and predicting behavior in socio-economic systems. In several previous papers, for example, we used research from the new Energy Network Science (ENS) to show how and why systemic ecological and economic health requires a balance of efficiency and resilience be maintained within a particular a “window of vitality”. The current paper outlines the logic behind 10 principles of systemic, socio-economic health and the quantitative measures that go with them. Our particular focus is on “regenerative aspects”, i.e., the self-feeding, self-renewal, and adaptive learning processes that natural systems use to nourish their capacity to thrive for long periods of time. In socio-economic systems, we demonstrate how regenerative economics requires regular investment in human, social, natural, and physical capital. Taken as a whole, we propose these 10 metrics represent a new capacity to understand, and set better policy for solving, the entangled systemic suite of social, environmental, and economic problems now faced in industrial cultures.

Keywords

Regenerative economics | Resilience | Economic networks | Self-organization | Autocatalysis | Socio-ecological systems | Network analysis

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Nurturing Human Potential and Optimizing Relationships From the Beginning of Life – 12 Guiding Principles | Wendy Anne McCarty & Marti Glenn

Understanding our earliest relationship experiences from the baby’s point of view and how these experiences set in motion life patterns has been the intense study of the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology for over 40 years. The field uses this lens to focus on our earliest human experience from preconception through baby’s first postnatal year and its role in creating children who thrive and become resilient, loving adults.

Leading-edge prenatal and perinatal psychology-oriented therapists collaborated with the primary authors in an academic community grant project funded by the Bower Foundation to create the 12 Guiding Principles.

The 12 principles are offered as a beacon to help guide parenting practice, professional practice, theory and research and to support human potential and optimal relationships from the beginning of life. These principles lay the foundation for a new movement in welcoming and caring for our babies. Everyone has a part to play.

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“Suggestions for Crime Reduction and Control – My Thoughts” by Maurice Williams

The first recorded conference on crime was convened in 1989, “THE NEW CRIME WAVE – A NATIONAL CONCERN” when staff at the Community Development Division brought together government officials, school authorities, community groups, law enforcement and magistrates to examine the trends in juvenile delinquency and to implement measures designed to reducing its incidence and to indicate that if immediate action was not taken to stem the tide, the nation would be confronted with “a new crime wave.”

Attorney General, Mr. Tapley Seaton expressed the view “Fortunately the majority of them live worthwhile and productive lives, but the minority, if left to their own devices will soon blossom and overtake the majority.”

Senior Magistrate, Mr. John Lynch Wade “cautioned that in five years persons will not be able to walk the streets”, reducing by five years the observation of the probation staff whose prediction was ten years.

The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edward Hughes, in his presentation on “Police Procedures” opined …… “if things continue to go unchecked, soon, individuals will probably be unable to walk down the streets without being molested”

During the years leading to 1989 period, criminal activity was at a minimum, no one even noticed. However the incidence of non attendance at school, maternal deprivation, family dysfunction and child neglect, juvenile offending were clear warning signs that a new crime wave was on the horizon.

The rate of Juvenile offending was, in 1990, hovering around 1.2% of all offences. In a short time span of some eight years later 1998, the rate of offending by juveniles had increased by about 17% and in 2004 by 66%.

It would appear that the hard evidence is consistent with the 1989 forecast and the prediction of the conference was “spot on.” The onslaught of criminal activity (not juvenile offending) was unleashed on the citizenry as predicted by the conference.

There can be absolutely no doubt that the Federation for several years has been experiencing unprecedented levels of criminal activity and in serious proportions, which none of its citizens or residents is willing to endure.

It is painfully obvious, that the country has not been able to apply any remedy with the degree of efficiency and effectiveness necessary to instill confidence in the adequacy of its response to crime. This has resulted in a rather uncomfortable situation in the extreme, for all residents who continue to hold out hope and wish that its incidence is reduced to more tolerable ranges.

Long term solutions to crime reduction and control, reside not in efforts at better policing, multi-million dollar investments in law enforcement, law revision, stiffer penalties, penal reform, conferences, commissions, councils and inter-ministerial committees but on an a completely new approach. One which encourages and provides tangible support to those institutions which give individuals a place and stake in the community by making it possible for them to play a meaningful role. one which gives them a sense of purpose, a feeling that they are wanted, valued and a sense of belonging•

Crime prevention strategies, therefore, as a matter of course should be built into the planning of all social and economic programs. This measure would have the effect of mitigating the negative effects of criminal behavior on development and progress. Such strategies must include primary prevention which is designed to stop the problem even before it starts.

Through a process of early intervention, action must be taken so that anti social behavior, personal, family or community problems are minimized or do not arise at all. All of the agents of formal and informal social control; the family, the community, the school, the church, legislation, the criminal justice system, the media are critical in crime reduction and control. Any effective response to controlling and reducing the intolerable levels of crime must be rooted in calculated efforts to arrest and repair the corrosive effects on these agents.

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Bio-inspired Design & Regenerative Cultures — an interview with Daniel Christian Wahl (Zygote Quarterly, Issue 17, 2016)

It is time to recognize that we are nature and have to re-indigenize to fit our human cultures into the life-sustaining ecosystems functions of the places and regions we inhabit.

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The Cosmologic Continuum From Physics to Consciousness | John S. Torday, William B.Miller

Reduction of developmental biology to self-referential cell-cell communication offers a portal for understanding fundamental mechanisms of physiology as derived from physics through quantum mechanics. It is argued that self-referential organization is implicit to the Big Bang and its further expression is a recoil reaction to that Singularity. When such a frame is considered, in combination with experimental evidence for the importance of epigenetic inheritance, the unicellular state can be reappraised as the primary object of selection. This framework provides a significant shift in understanding the relationship between physics and biology, providing novel insights to the nature and origin of consciousness.

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Selected articles on the ‘Cellular-Molecular Evolutionary Basis to a Better Understanding of LIFE’ by John S. Torday and William B. Miller Jr. | www.humansandnature.org

“Evolutionary research has confirmed that all complex organisms emanate from cellular roots. Further, too, all reiterate through a single cell stage for reproduction. Despite outward appearances, every complex organism remains perpetually attached to an inherent cellular narrative as an intimate co-alignment of mixed cellular ecological units. We are cellular beings, and ever remain thus. Our range of unique human behaviors are therefore derivative, whether manifested as impulsive risk taking or artistic expression. All such human endeavors are our means of exploring a catalogue of necessary information within an obligatory circumstance in which the information upon which we must rely is always equivocal.

Yet, within this complexity, there is hidden unity. Our illusion of singularity depends on the transitory but inseparable conjoining cohesion of all our linked cellular ecologies. And from this emanates the largest Truth: we and the environment are entwined self-similarities. The environment that matters most is not without, it is embedded within our own natural being. And our only sure Truth is our own impermanent and ambiguous transit through this intimate and reciprocating dimension.

Why then is life full of deceptions? At all points in time and for every organism within the informational system that biology represents, the predominating driver is not just access to information, but an active assessment of its inherently equivocal context and quality. Biology’s continuous drama is the struggle to settle a range of unknowns into forms of information that are discretely recognizable as secure. Those actions that sustain us must always travel along that path. It is our simple plight that nothing need be as it seems and, in consequence, our survival is an unceasing battle to overcome inherent untruth.”

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