Sociology Homework

Your textbook briefly introduces a health belief model, which is a health behavior change theory that aims to explain and predict health-related behaviors. The model suggests that people’s health behavior can be explained by 1. their perceived severity of the problem, 2. their perceived susceptibility, 3. perceived barriers, and 4. perceived benefits. This model emphasizes rational choice and agency – or our free will to make choices. In addition to these ‘life choices’ however, our health behaviors are often influenced by elements of social structure – or societal forces that hamper our individual choices. You can think of life chances as opportunities and access to resources. For this discussion, I want you to choose one of the following health-risk behaviors: poor nutrition, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of exercise, risky sexual practices. For your chosen behavior, please discuss both the elements of agency (choices) and structure (chances) that explain why people adopt health-risk behaviors, what could help them in stopping that behavior, and what barriers exist to adopting a healthier behavior.  

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