Description: Health outcomes for many children in the United States lag behind those of other developed countries. Moreover, significant socio-economic disparities exist in child morbidity and mortality. This course takes a developmental and social-contextual perspective on child health in the US, focusing on key concepts, current issues and intervention approaches.
Course Goals: Course Objectives: The course will increase student knowledge regarding health concerns for children across development and enhance critical thinking skills regarding influences on child health outcomes and intervention implications at different points in development. Specifically, the course will provide: 1) a survey of health concerns relevant for children from infancy through early adolescence (e.g., autism, obesity, depression); 2) mechanisms that shape child health outcomes (e.g., child factors, parenting and family processes, community resources; broader social contexts such as poverty); and 3) intervention approaches to promote child health. Opportunities to pursue topics of particular student interest within child health (e.g., global health, mental health) will also be available through assignments.
Competencies: The following HBHE Competencies are a primary focus of this course:
#1. Describe the role and interaction of key determinants of health status from a social-ecological perspective (e.g. individual, family, organization, community, and society).
The following HBHE Competencies are a secondary focus of this course:
#2. Describe and apply relevant theories, concepts, and models from social and behavior science that are used in public health research and practice to both understand and affect health status, health behavior, social change, and policy.
#6. Describe and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to interact with diverse individuals and communities within and across settings with varying levels of economic resources.
#9. Understand, measure, and intervene to address health inequities.
Learning Objectives: By the end of this course students will be able to:
1. Describe common child health concerns at different points in development
2. Articulate mechanisms and contextual factors that influence child health
3. Analyze how child developmental stage can affect intervention approach and effectiveness
4. Recommend developmentally-appropriate intervention strategies