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Social-Ecological Model Theory

A behavior I would like to modify or change would be the sexual activity of today’s youth. Focusing more on using protection, being safe, or abstinence if possible. We know that if you aren’t careful and using protection it is very easy to attain a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

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I would use the social-ecological model theory to accomplish a prevention and promotional change in behaviors. The social-ecological model provides a framework for understanding the different influences and their relationships to one another.

In the social-ecological model theory there are different stages or levels to your prevention or promotional program. The five stages or levels are: Individual, Relationship, Community, Societal, and Policy. Individual would be intrapersonal. Relationship would be interpersonal. Community would have institutional factors. Societal would have community factors. And Policy would local, state, and national laws and policies that contribute to the prevention of your program.

The first level of the social-ecological model (SEM) theory is Individual or intrapersonal stage. It represents the individual who might be affected by a sexually transmitted infection. And the sexual prevention program aims to increase the individual’s knowledge and influence his or her attitudes. You do so by providing, the need for STD testing, the intention to be tested, the risks and benefits of being tested, and access to affordable and convenient STD testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) The second level of the SEM behavior theory is Relationship or interpersonal level. It represents STD prevention activities implemented at the interpersonal level. These activities are intended to facilitate individual behavior change by affecting social and cultural norms and overcoming individual-level barriers. Friends, family, health care providers, community health workers or promoters, and patient navigators represent potential sources of interpersonal messages and support.

Activities included are: providers making STD testing recommendations to their patients, patients receiving reminders about the need of regular STD testing, patient navigators helping to remove logistical and other barriers to screening. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) The third level of the SEM behavior theory is Community which has institutional factors. It represents STD prevention activities implemented at the organization level. These activities are intended to facilitate individual behavior change by influencing organizational systems and policies.

Health care systems, employers or worksites, health care plans, local health departments, tribal urban health clinics, and professional organizations represent potential sources of organizational messages and support. At this level you would; promote the use of client and provider reminder systems, provide provider assessment and feedback on their performance, encourage the coverage and expansion of benefits for screening, adopt worksite policies that support preventive care. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) The fourth level of the SEM theory is Societal which has community factors. It represents STD prevention activities implemented at the community level. These activities are intended to facilitate individual behavior change by leveraging resources and participation of society-level institutions such as comprehensive abstinence coalitions, tribal health departments, media, and community advocacy groups, which represent potential sources of societal communication and support.

Several interventions appropriate for this level, includes: working with coalitions and collaborates to promote STD testing and expand resources, conducting public awareness and educational campaigns, collaborating with tribal health departments to expand STD screening. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) The final level is Policy. It represents STD prevention activities at the policy level. These activities involve interpreting and implementing existing policy. Federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies may support policies that promote healthy behavior, including screening.

Some examples include: collaborating with coalitions to communicate policy decisions to the public (i. g. insurance mandates for STD testing), and translating local policies for community members (i. g. proclamation of a STD prevention awareness month). (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2009) Works Cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009, September 9). The Social-Ecological Model: A Framework for Prevention. Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. (2012, November 16). The Social Ecological Model. Olympia, Washington, United States.