Health Psychology: The Politics of Health

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Politics and health may seem like an unlikely pair. Yet, a brief glance into history shows us that public policies contribute mightily to individual health outcomes. Early examples of this relationship are found in the development of public and private sanitation systems in the Indus Valley region in 2000 BCE, the development of public water systems in ancient Greece and later Rome, and public health studies of the relationship between sewer systems and fevers in England in the mid-1800s. Dr. Ragin’s webinar presentation will take us on a brief journey through the history and research that demonstrates the clear relationship between the two, culminating in an examination of the research on current health policies in the U.S. and abroad that have direct influence on individual health status. This body of work will be explained in the context of the current socio-ecological model of health, which views health outcomes as a dynamic process resulting from the interaction of biology, human behavior, physical and social environments, health systems, and health policy.

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