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Health Disparities, Personal Influences on

  • By: Jennifer R. Warren
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Health disparities is a term used to describe preventable differences in the burden of disease and opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. These differences have a direct correlation to historical and current distribution of resources and are usually inequitable. There are multiple factors resulting in health disparities, including personal influences that impact health behavior.

Personal influences are intrapersonal in nature—existing or occurring within the mind. Personal factors include individual knowledge and skills, self-concept, past experience, beliefs, perceptions, and motivations. Even though personal influences are individually based, there are common characteristics and experiences among individuals within the same socially disadvantaged population. This is because of similar health experiences resulting from the distribution of resources. Individual behavior is a fundamental unit of ...

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