Read the issue brief from the Robert Wood Johnson
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Foundation entitled “Education and Health” 2011, located in the Reading and Study folder for this module/week. Discuss the following points in your thread. Review the Discussion Board Instructions before posting your thread.
• There appears to be a dose-response relationship between educational attainment and health—the more you get, the better it is. Why this is true is not clearly understood, though several reasonable hypotheses have been proposed. Describe the 3 interrelated pathways presented as explanations for this relationship in this brief. Which do you feel is the strongest? Why?
• According to data presented in the brief, “the United States is the only industrialized nation where young people currently are less likely than members of their parents’ generation to be high-school graduates.” What evidence is given to support this statement? Why do you think this situation exists? What will it take to correct it?
• As would be expected, parents’ educational attainment is linked to their children’s health and even their educational attainment. These linkages, in turn, influence the health and educational attainment of their children’s children, as well, perpetuating an endless intergenerational cycle of high (or low) educational attainment and its associated better (or poorer) health. How does this fit with the biblical understanding of multigenerational influence (Exodus 34:6–7)? In what ways can the Church help interrupt the vicious cycle beginning with low educational attainment? Pray that God will use you to be a positive influence on your children in this area or on others whom God will bring across your path.
• You will participate in 8 Discussion Board Forums by 1) posting a thread in response to the stated prompt, and 2) posting replies in response to classmates’ threads. Each Discussion Board Forum topic presents a thought-provoking question or prompt based on recent article(s) in the scientific and professional literature of public health. Each prompt is designed to enhance your learning experience as you write about your ideas, perspectives and experiences, and receive feedback from your classmates. Both the frequency of your participation and the depth of the content you write will affect your grade. Use the Discussion Board Grading Rubric to improve the quality of your contributions and follow the specific requirements described below.
• Note: Threads and replies must be completed within the assigned module/week or no credit will be awarded.
• For each forum, post a thread in response to the topic prompts provided. Your post should contain 400–500 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines. This word limit promotes writing that is thorough yet concise enough to permit your peers to read all the posts. If the Discussion Board Forum prompts you to answer a series of questions, make sure you address all of them thoroughly within the word limit. Do not restate the questions in your post; simply begin a new paragraph for each new thought. The goal is to have a seamless written argument closed by a brief conclusion tying together your individual responses. Use your best critical reasoning skills, employing the Universal Intellectual Standards as a guide, but not a strict outline. Refer to specific statements of the author(s) whenever appropriate but limit direct quotations to a maximum of 25 words for your entire post. Since this is a personal discussion, you may use first person; however, you should maintain professional decorum at all times.
• Your thread should be posted to the appropriate Discussion Board Forum by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned module/week.
• After reading your classmates’ threads, post a reply to at least 2 classmates by clicking “Reply” within the thread to which you intend to respond. These replies are designed to stimulate thought-provoking discussion, building upon or expanding the knowledge presented. Your instructor is looking for substantive, reasoned comments, not mere agreement with the initial thread on which your reply is based. In your replies, state why you liked or disliked a comment, adding additional thoughts or ideas to your classmate’s, and/or providing alternative ideas or disagreeing thoughts. Your comments should be critical but kind, “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). Help one another with good communication skills, both by example and instruction. Substantiate your position by referencing pertinent statements from the resource under discussion, but avoid lengthy quotes from it. You may also reference other professional or peer-reviewed sources, though this is not a requirement. Each reply should contain 200–250 words and adhere to AMA writing style guidelines.
• Replies to your classmates’ threads are due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week, except for Module/Week 8 when replies will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.
First reply:Hanna Burnett
DB 5-Education & Health
In the ‘Education and Health’ brief1, three pathways are presented as explanations on why increased amount of education is linked to better health. These three areas are 1) health knowledge and education, 2) employment and income, 3) social and psychological factors. While they are interconnected, they all have distinct qualities in how they effect health as whole.
Health knowledge and education: It is thought that with increased education level people are able to make better judgements about health related choices and reduce participation in health compromising activities. Having an understanding on how nutrition, toxins and physical activity affects ones body can be a persuasive argument to make the ‘right choice’ on a daily base. I was very surprised to read that in adults with less than high school diploma basic health literacy was lacking in almost 50% of Americans.
Employment and income: There is no question that with higher education, one is able to find safer, more meaningful, and better compensated jobs. All of these things have a great impact on ones health. Current unemployment rates for for adults with less than high school diploma is 4.7%, compared to collage graduates at 2.4%.2 With better pay and safer jobs, people are able to live in neighborhoods that encourage healthy life styles; fresh produce abundantly, safe recreational areas, healthier living conditions and less stress in worrying about survival.
Social and psychological factors: As ones education level increases, opportunities in the job market increase as well. This brings about belief and sense of control of ones destiny. This in turn has an effect on mental freedom that can be experienced in the work place as there is not such dependence on current job. Perceived social standing as well as social networks have been shown to increase ones health.3 It is no surprise that connections play a major role in ‘getting ahead in life’. That’s why wealth and power are so narrowly distributed in many countries around the world. Higher education level propels one closer to this small and elite population.4
I feel the strongest factor by far is education level and income. With higher income comes better neighborhoods, more recourses for healthy nutrition and recreational opportunities, less stress about worrying how to support family, and more opportunities in the work market. Education backs up one’s knowledge, earns respect from people around you and lifts the social status within community. All of these have an effect on health.1-4 On the other hand, if one has just inherited income but no education, there is often much less respect, less job opportunities (as most would have to come from connections), and less wisdom to use resources wisely.5
As can be seen in the figure 51 of the brief, educational level varies in America by race. Asians have the highest proportion of collage graduates (49.8) while whites have the lowest proportion of less than high-school graduation (10.6). Hispanics have almost 40% of youth 25 and younger who have not graduated from high school. Blacks and Native Americans are both just around 20%. Some reasons why this could be is feeling the need to help out at home to support family by finding a (low paying) job, having very little if any social support for attaining education, and not being taught from young age the value of having an education. Partly this is also related to drugs and gangs in the poorer neighborhoods. Increased costs for education is certainly no help either.
In order to shift the trend we need to do a better job educating at risk communities on the life benefits that education often brings and how education is related to health. We also need to educate policy writers to the economical effects that education can have, both in decreased health care spending and in increased productivity at work.6
In Exodus 34:6-77 God proclaims his patience, love, and faithfulness to us while He also tells us the consequences sin has for generations. This sounds a bit harsh but if you compare it to Exodus 20:5 God says the same thing but adds ‘..of those who hate me’8. So clearly God is not telling that children are doomed just because their father’s abandoned God, but it’s because of the consequences of their sin. Expanding this to the Christian view on education, just because parents were not able to acquire higher education doesn’t mean that the children should not either. On the contrary, this would be the place where church comes in and makes every effort to help break this cycle. As the brief1 stated, perceived social standing has been linked to improved health. So what better way to improve this that to have ones self worth and identity linked directly to being God’s child. With this comes hope and healing, which will increase ability to persevere and succeed. Throughout history church has been a driving force behind education.9 This was seen as pathway to evangelizing large populations as people learned to read the Bible for themselves. Some ways to do this still is to continue to shape the societal attitudes towards higher education, educate church goers about the importance of early education, challenge congregations to influence policy makers at local level to focus resources on closing the educational gap, and by filling the physical needs for school children in their neighborhoods (school supplies, clean clothing, meals during school breaks).
1. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Exploring the social determinants of health. Education and Health. Issue Brief #5.
2. FRED Economic Research. Unemployment rate by education attainment and age, monthly, not seasonally adjusted: 25 years and over. August 2019. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/release/tables?rid=50&eid=48713&od=#. Accessed September 17, 2019.
3. Manstead ASR. The psychology of social class: how socioeconomic status impacts through, feelings, and behavior. Br J Soc Psychol. 2018 Apr; 57(2): 267-291. Doi: 10.111/bjso.12251
4. Domhoff WG. Power in America. Wealth, income, and power. Who Rules America? Sociology Dept., University of California at Santa Cruz. https://whorulesamerica.ucsc.edu/power/wealth.html. Accessed September 17, 2019.
5. Luthar SS. The culture of affluence: psychological costs of material wealth. Child Dev. 2003; 74(6): 1581-1593. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950124/. Accessed September 17, 2019.
6. Hahn RA, Truman BI. Education improves public health and promotes health equity. Int J Health Serv. 2015; 45(4): 657-678. Doi: 10.1177/0020731415585986
7. Exodus 34:6-7. The Holy Bible.
8. Exodus 20:5. The Holy Bible. New International Version.
9. Pew Research Center. Religion & Public Life. How religion may affect educational attainment: scholarly theories and historical background. https://www.pewforum.org/2016/12/13/how-religion-may-affect-educational-attainment-scholarly-theories-and-historical-background/. Accessed September 17, 2019.
Second reply:Beulah Aggrey
The 3 interrelated pathways presented as explanations for the relationship between educational attainment and health were: health knowledge and behaviors, employment and income, and social and psychological factors.1 Education increases people’s knowledge, problem-solving and coping skills which enables them to make better-informed choices for themselves and their family.1 Having more education is typically linked with higher paying jobs which provides the necessary income to live in neighborhoods that are less stressful, can afford healthy foods, and provides access to recreational facilities. Also, with more education, there is a higher likelihood of having a job with healthier working conditions that provides better employment-based benefits and higher wages.1 Education is typically associated with higher social standing and higher levels of social support which has been linked to better health status.1
Educational attainment and increased health knowledge and healthy behaviors is the strongest. Adults with higher levels of education are less likely to engage in health-risk behavior such as smoking, alcohol and other drug use and more likely to engage in healthier behaviors such as healthy diet and adequate physical activity.2 Also people who are more educated are more aware of health risks and may be more receptive to health education campaigns. They would also be able to understand their health needs, follow or read instructions, advocate for themselves and their families, and communicate effectively with health care providers.2
Decreased income, joining gangs, becoming pregnant, using drugs, physical or other medical problems, family issues, school environment increases the likelihood of dropping out of school. Also the availability of job opportunities that do not require high school degrees such as YouTube encourages young people not to complete high school. Anyone with a phone or camera can make a video and upload it on YouTube and with time they can start making money from there. Parents and the environment people grow up in have a major role in correcting this situation. Also, companies that do not require high school degrees to get a job with them need to encourage young people to get their high school degrees and for high school dropouts, companies can offer to pay for them to complete their degrees.
Exodus 34:7 says “ he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation”.3 Sin is like a contagious disease, that can be passed on to children and their children. Any child that sins like the parent would share the same punishment. God does not punish sinless children for their father’s sin. In relation to educational attainment and health, a child may not suffer low educational attainment or poorer health if they break the cycle. The church can help break this vicious cycle by continuously preaching and teaching about the value of education, hold information’s sessions and invite school leaders to speak at, show support by sharing students success stories, offer tutoring, mentoring, after-school program, etc.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. EXPLORING THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: Issue brief #5. https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2011/05/education-matters-for-health.html Published April 1, 2011. Accessed September 17, 2019.
Zimmerman E, Woolf SH. Understanding the relationship between education and health. Discussion Paper, Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC. 2014. http://nam.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/06//understandingtherelationship. Accessed September 17, 2019.
The Holy bible. New International Version. Available at https://www.biblegateway.com/. Accessed September 17, 2019.
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