This interdisciplinary text examines five different components of family health-biology, behavior, social-cultural circumstances, the environment, and health care-and the ways they affect the abilities of family members to perform well in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Special awareness is paid to health disparities among individuals, families, groups, regions, and nations. The author discusses how health of individual families influences our local, national, and global communities. Families and Health argues that family health is not a privilege for the few, but a personal, national, and global right and responsibility.

Introduction: Families and Their Health

Introduction: Families and Their Health

Introduction: Families and their health

When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.

Herophilus of Chalcedon (335 BC to 280 BC, in Durant 1966:638)

This quote from antiquity is as true in the twenty-first century as when first scribed, yet understanding the dimensions and determinants of health, particularly family health, has never been more challenging as our understanding of the complexity of illness increases. American families confront a paradox of their country, spending more on health care than any other nation on the planet, yet on almost every measure of health status, such as infant mortality and adult longevity, the United States ranks below many developed countries. What can ...

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