The Sociological and Psychological Perspective to Child and Family Health in the Wider Context.

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The sociological and psychological perspective to child and family health in the wider context.

The purpose of this essay is to critically assess current health and care policies for children in a pre-school setting and their family. It will also have reference to the bio-psycho- social model and its connection from social and psychological perspectives of children’s experience to their health and illness. It will also cover the importance of promoting optimum health and well being within the nursery for both child and parent.

To begin with some people believe that we, as humans, are complex systems and that illness is caused by a multitude of factors and not by a single causal factor (Banyard 1996 pp 29-31). This approach reflects the bio-psychosocial model of health and illness, which was developed by George Engel. He posits that this model accounted for the interconnected spectrums of biological, psychological and social factors and how they enable humans to function within the context of disease or illness (Engel 1977 pp129-136). Therefore by recognising that psychosocial factors such as, beliefs, relationships and stress can greatly impact the recovery, progression and recuperation of a person during their illness. (Sarno 1998 p 32).

Some people have emphasised that the Bio Psychosocial model has been around for centuries and that psychiatrist George Engel was not the first person to have these notions. Evidence by Ibrahim B. Syed (2002 p2-9) has found that the application of the model was being used in ancient Asian 2600 B.C. and Greek 500 B.C. civilizations and still to this day the novelty, acceptance and practice of the bio psychosocial model varies across cultures.

To understand the aspects of the Bio psychosocial model is to simply break it down...

“BIO- (biological) is the somatic vulnerability or susceptibility to a disease such as allergies and how these can affect each of us individually”. Santrock (2007 p63)

“Psycho- (Psychological) is any type of change or new demand that may cause stress to a person or any kind of situation which is new or threatening for us. (Goldberg & Huxley 1992 p22)

And...

“Social: Any psychological problem depends on the social interaction and response of the environment. So it makes a big difference where and how you live” (Westbrook et al 2007 p 45-47)

Alternative approaches to decipher the pathways of health, disease and well being has been researched by MD Vaccoro who believes that the traditional Biomedical model considers disease to be primarily a failure within the body, resulting from infections, accidents and inheritance and has no regards to social and psychological aspects of illness. (2005 p82-83)

Further research into the biomedical model has yielded some interesting albeit contradicting results; Bernard & Krupat states that...

“The biomedical model has seemed to have dominated the field of medicine for hundreds of years and continues to do so” (1994).

However despite these technological advances, the biomedical model has been heavily criticised. It has been described by Hardey as...

“Ignoring the complexity of factors involved in health and therefore assuming that every disease has a primary biological cause; also neglecting the social and psychological aspects of the individual” (1998 p78-81)

Therefore considering the ‘individuals’ psychological aspects, Uri Bronfenbrenner’s principles of the Ecology of Human Development refers to a process of which progressive and more complex interaction between a child and person, who is within his immediate environment, must occur on a regular basis over extended periods of time to be effective, this is also known as the child’s Eco System. (1998 p996)

Therefore Bronfenbrenner’s findings suggest that, the child is the centre of the model and that the model acknowledges that a child affects, as well is affected by the settings in which he spends time. He...
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