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Introduction to Biosocial Medicine

The Social, Psychological, and Biological Determinants of Human Behavior and Well-Being

Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD

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Understanding human behavior is essential if medical students and doctors are to provide more effective health care.

While 40 percent of premature deaths in the United States can be attributed to such dangerous behaviors as smoking, overeating, inactivity, and drug or alcohol use, medical education has generally failed to address how these behaviors are influenced by social forces. This new textbook from Dr. Donald A. Barr was designed in response to the growing recognition that physicians need to understand the biosocial sciences behind human behavior in order to be effective practitioners. In...

Understanding human behavior is essential if medical students and doctors are to provide more effective health care.

While 40 percent of premature deaths in the United States can be attributed to such dangerous behaviors as smoking, overeating, inactivity, and drug or alcohol use, medical education has generally failed to address how these behaviors are influenced by social forces. This new textbook from Dr. Donald A. Barr was designed in response to the growing recognition that physicians need to understand the biosocial sciences behind human behavior in order to be effective practitioners. Introduction to Biosocial Medicine explains the determinants of human behavior and the overwhelming impact of behavior on health.

Drawing on both recent and historical research, the book combines the study of the biology of humans with the social and psychological aspects of human behavior. Dr. Barr, a sociologist as well as physician, illustrates how the biology of neurons, the intricacies of the human mind, and the power of broad social forces all influence individual perceptions and responses. Addressing the enormous potential of interventions from medical and public health professionals to alter these patterns of human behavior over time, Introduction to Biosocial Medicine brings necessary depth and perspective to medical training and education.

Reviews

Reviews

... Introduction to Biosocial Medicine: The Social, Psychological, and Biological Determinants of Human Behavior and Well-Being is well positioned to be an informative and timely text and I would recommend the book for anyone—students, scholars, or layperson— aspiring to ascertain an understanding of the many factors influencing human behavior and well-being.

... a coherent, essential text for anyone teaching or practicing in the health sciences, including social work.

A compelling, clearly written, and original review of how social factors influence well-being, this timely and accessible book will greatly benefit students who intend to pursue further study in medicine.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
7
x
10
Pages
216
ISBN
9781421418605
Illustration Description
2 halftones, 36 line drawings
Table of Contents

Preface
Part I. Understanding Human Behavior
The need to understand human behavior
What is behavior?
Well-being and the consequences of behavior
The impact of social inequality and social hierarchy on

Preface
Part I. Understanding Human Behavior
The need to understand human behavior
What is behavior?
Well-being and the consequences of behavior
The impact of social inequality and social hierarchy on behavior
How cultural context affects behavior
Social group identity, status inequality, and behavior
Motivation as a key mediator of behavior
Personality: Who we are
Neural structure as a basis of behavior
Cognition: How we think and what we know
How social inequality and stressful childhood experiences impact cognition, behavior, and well- being
Connecting the causes of early adversity to well-being over the life course: Understanding the causal links and the interventions thathold the most promise
Part II. Behavior and Well-Being
Physical well-being
Physical well-being beyond life expectancy
Social well-being
Summary
Part III. Inequality and Well-Being
Racial and ethnic inequality in health in association with educational inequality
How does inequality in access to medical care affect health inequality?
The differing impact of low education and low income on the health of minority groups
The origins and meanings of the concepts of race and ethnicity in the United States
The changing demographics of the population in theUnited States
The disparate impact of inequality on Hispanics and blacks
Summary
Part IV. Society, Culture, and Behavior
The impact of culture: The Cultural Cycle
Differing perspectives on the nature of social structure
The role of culture ininfluencing personality and behavior
Other contexts in which independence and interdependence Clash!
Acculturation: When people move across cultural boundaries
The role of social networks in affecting behavior
Summary

Author Bio
Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD
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Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD

Donald A. Barr, MD, PhD, is professor emeritus at Stanford University in the Department of Pediatrics. He is the author of Health Disparities in the United States: Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, and the Social Determinants of Health; Introduction to Biosocial Medicine: The Social, Psychological, and Biological Determinants of Human Behavior and Well-Being; and Crossing the American Health Care...