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Social Environment and Physical activity: A review of concepts and evidence

Listed author(s):
  • McNeill, Lorna Haughton
  • Kreuter, Matthew W.
  • Subramanian, S.V.
Registered author(s):

    The rapidly growing and evolving literature on the social environment and its influence on health outcomes currently lacks a clear taxonomy of dimensions of the social environment and the differing mechanisms through which each influences health-related behavior. This paper identifies five dimensions of the social environment--social support and social networks, socioeconomic position and income inequality, racial discrimination, social cohesion and social capital, and neighborhood factors--and considers each in the context of physical activity to illustrate important differences between them. Increasing the specificity of terminology and methods in social environmental research on health will enable more systematic inquiry and accelerate the rate of scientific discovery in this important area.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(06)00146-8
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 63 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 1011-1022

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:4:p:1011-1022
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    1. Eyler, Amy A. & Brownson, Ross C. & Donatelle, Rebecca J. & King, Abby C. & Brown, David & Sallis, James F., 1999. "Physical activity social support and middle- and older-aged minority women: results from a US survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 781-789, September.
    2. Edmondson, Ricca, 2003. "Social capital: a strategy for enhancing health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1723-1733, November.
    3. King, Gary, 1997. "The "race" concept in smoking: A review of the research on African Americans," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1075-1087, October.
    4. Kennedy, Bruce P. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Prothrow-Stith, Deborah & Lochner, Kimberly & Gupta, Vanita, 1998. "Social capital, income inequality, and firearm violent crime," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 7-17, July.
    5. Lynch, J. W. & Kaplan, G. A. & Salonen, J. T., 1997. "Why do poor people behave poorly? Variation in adult health behaviours and psychosocial characteristics by stages of the socioeconomic lifecourse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 809-819, March.
    6. Lindström, Martin & Hanson, Bertil S. & Östergren, Per-Olof, 2001. "Socioeconomic differences in leisure-time physical activity: the role of social participation and social capital in shaping health related behaviour," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 441-451, February.
    7. Macintyre, Sally & Ellaway, Anne & Cummins, Steven, 2002. "Place effects on health: how can we conceptualise, operationalise and measure them?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 125-139, July.
    8. Ross, Catherine E., 2000. "Walking, exercising, and smoking: does neighborhood matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 265-274, July.
    9. Ståhl, T. & Rütten, A. & Nutbeam, D. & Bauman, A. & Kannas, L. & Abel, T. & Lüschen, G. & Rodriquez, Diaz J. A. & Vinck, J. & van der Zee, J., 2001. "The importance of the social environment for physically active lifestyle -- results from an international study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-10, January.
    10. Hawe, Penelope & Shiell, Alan, 2000. "Social capital and health promotion: a review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 871-885, September.
    11. Cattell, Vicky, 2001. "Poor people, poor places, and poor health: the mediating role of social networks and social capital," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 1501-1516, May.
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