Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights

Edited by Robert M. Kaplan, Michael L. Spittel, Daryn H. David

This book comprises 23 chapters focused on what we know and what is still to be learned about the effects of various behavioral and social factors on longevity, disability and illness, and quality of life, primarily at the population level. Factors such as access to health care, educational attainment, nutrition, physical activity, use of tobacco products, and non-communicable diseases are considered, along with many other determinants of health and longevity. Several chapters focus on improving methods for behavioral and social science research. In addition, many of the authors examine the state of Americans' health and well-being and our return on investment in health care expenditures in comparison with other developed and developing countries.


Section I: Demographic and Social Epidemiological Perspectives on Population Health
   Income Inequality and Health: A Causal Review
   Labor Policy and Work, Family, and Health in the Twenty-First Century
   Social and Behavioral Interventions to Improve Health and Reduce Disparities in Health
   The Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Developing World: A Role for Social and Behavioral Research
   Identifying the Principal Factors Responsible for Improvements in the Health of Populations
Section II: Influence of Policies Focused on Behavioral Risk Factors
   Changing Population Behavior and Reducing Health Disparities: Exploring the Potential of "Choice Architecture" Interventions
   Application of Behavior Change Theory to Preventing Unintentional Injuries
   Cigarettes: The Rise and Decline But Not Demise of the Greatest Behavioral Health Disaster of the 20th Century
   Physical Activity: Numerous Benefits and Effective Interventions
   How Health Impact Assessments Shape Interventions
   Behavioral and Social Science Aspects of the U.S. National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS): 2010 to 2015 and Beyond
Section III: Biological Influences on Development and Subsequent Well-Being
   Epigenomics and the Unheralded Convergence of the Biological and Social Sciences
   The Brain on Stress: How Behavior and the Social Environment "Get Under the Skin"
Section IV: Value of Investing in Health Care
   The Science of Making Better Decisions About Health: Cost-Effectiveness and Cost-Benefit Analysis
   The Contribution of Behavior Change and Public Health to Improved U.S. Population Health
   Health Economics and Improvements in Behavioral Health
   Evidence-Based Psychotherapies: Novel Models of Delivering Treatment
Section V: Emerging Tools for Studying Population Health
   Mathematical and Computational Simulation of the Behavioral and Social Drivers of Population Health
   Understanding the Relationship Between Education and Health: A Review of the Evidence and an Examination of Community Perspectives
   Aligning Medical Education with the Nation's Health Priorities: Innovations in Physician Training in Behavioral and Social Sciences
   Determinants of Health and Longevity
   New Directions for Behavioral and Social Science Strategies to Improve Health


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This report has been jointly produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH). The findings and conclusions presented herein are those of the authors, who are responsible for the content; the findings and conclusions do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ, NIH, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This document is in the public domain and may be used and reproduced without permission, except for those materials that are subject to copyright. Such materials are clearly identified herein; further use of these materials will require permission from the third-party copyright holders.

Suggested citation: Kaplan R, Spittel M, David D (Eds). Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights. AHRQ Publication No. 15-0002. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health; July 2015.

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Page last reviewed November 2015
Page originally created July 2015
Internet Citation: Population Health: Behavioral and Social Science Insights. Content last reviewed November 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/education/curriculum-tools/population-health/index.html
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