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Role of Families in Health Promotion

  • By: Carol Loveland-Cherry
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Families have long been a focus in health and illness. Historically, families have been viewed both as the source of illness and poor health and as the social unit responsible for the health and well-being of its members. Much of the early research on the role of the family in health and illness relied on reports from the mother and/or wife, who was seen as the major health care provider in most families. Studies in psychology and medicine initially focused on the family as the source of physical and psychological disorders, such as schizophrenia. With the advent of a national emphasis on prevention via the Healthy People initiative, the family gained additional attention. The provision of basic needs—shelter, food, health, and illness care—is one ...

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