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Health-Seeking Behavior in Families

  • By: Kimberly Greder & Yoshie Sano
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Health-seeking behavior means action based on a personal decision to promote wellness or recovery from an illness or disease. To improve the health of families, one must understand how and why people make decisions that affect their health. Factors that shape health-seeking behaviors in families are socioeconomic (e.g., age, education, literacy, employment, income), social (e.g., family, culture), and structural (e.g., availability and access to health care).

Socioeconomic Status

An individual's health-seeking behavior is largely influenced by his or her socioeconomic status. According to data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), education level, employment status, and income all affect the health and health behavior of U.S. adults. Higher education and income, which tend to covary (are related to each other), generally lead to more proactive ...

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