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Reducing Unhealthy Behaviors Among Community Members

One of the most burning issues of contemporary society is that children learn early about drugs and unprotected sex. These problems affect teenagers at an age when they are not supposed to know that from their own experience. That is why health education should be aimed at providing students with appropriate and adequate information on this issue rather than trying to inform students who practice unprotected sex about the danger of smoking. Sexually transmitted diseases and the effect produced with drugs and their influence on the whole organism and future generation should be of primary concern.

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Though some families take steps in preventing their members from certain diseases, it is impossible to monitor and assess the effectiveness of those measures. As reported by Maurer & Smith (2005), there is a criterion-referenced assessment of nursing practices aimed at dealing with the whole community rather than with individuals only (p. 406). So, parents can tell their children about the importance of protected sexual contact and the harm that drugs bring to their organisms. Further information and detailed explanations on the complications from unprotected sex and the danger of drugs can be provided by health educators.

Overview of the Article

The article chosen for this paper was published in May 2003, in the American Journal of Public Health (Benjamin, 2003). The author addresses the problem of the applicability of measures taken by the nursing community towards health education and prevention.

Though children know a lot from those community health lessons, they have a lot of negative experiences that destroys the whole concept of education because they face weapons and drugs in the streets without being ready to overcome those dangers by themselves whereas the information provided by educators and community nurses turns out to be insufficient for those kids (Benjamin, 2003, p. 704). In this respect, reducing unhealthy behaviors can be rather challenging, especially in the conditions of training and consultation that are inefficient for the current situation (Office of Public Health Practice, 2010).

Relationship to the Current Situation in the Community

While researchers approach the problem, it is necessary to conclude that some community members are still not ready to receive some assistance, counseling, consultation, and training from representatives of public health nursing (Westbrook & Schultz, 2010). In other words, children do not always receive what they really need because the methods used by researchers, educators, and nurses can happen not to be applicable to the situation in which children find themselves.

Family-based care requires certain peculiar measures to be taken because children, as well as their parents, have to be aware of the problem and children should receive some encouragement and support from their parents while acquiring knowledge about health problems and methods of prevention. On the contrary, population-based care requires much more variables to be taken into account because the community can be divided in accordance with social, economic, and cultural criteria into many groups, each having its own preferences, views, and needs.

Individual-based care should be applicable to an individual with his/her needs and expectations. It is clear that sometimes people fail to follow their doctor’s prescription and do not know the most basic methods of disease prevention.

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Moreover, when talking about the family perspectives, adults may fail to explain to their children the basics of sexual education whereas the increase in the rate of people who get involved in sexual contact and suffer from sexually transmitted diseases is obvious. In other words, the family perspective is as complicated as the population-based care because each approach requires specific strategies and training. A family cannot take part in health education if some family members do not want to acquire health knowledge on the problems and ways of preventing those.

I think that the concept of social interaction reported by Maurer & Smith (2005, p.343) can be applied to the community in terms of providing appropriate information on health education and prevention measures. Though community/public health nursing practice can be challenging while applying the social interaction framework because it has many concepts to assess, it may be more universal for the community in terms of various measures used in different cases. Thus, boundaries, goals, and external influences as well as set factors, internal functioning, and outputs should be assessed before applying the method into practice (Maurer & Smith (2005, p.346). On the contrary, a number of criteria to assess can guarantee that all layers of society are addressed about their needs and interests.


One of the burning issues of contemporary society is the insufficiency of methods used while approaching the problem of health education. There are many methods applied to the problem of health education and prevention measures. However, one of the most effective means of providing the community members with appropriate information on the issue is the involvement of families for this purpose.

It is natural that educational methods can be more effective while used in the family environment. Besides, children can understand and learn more when the information is provided by adults who know the situation in the family, in the local community, and in the well-known environment. In other words, the family perspective can be rather useful while addressing the health problem of health education and the applicability of methods used by educators and nurses.


Benjamin, G. C. (2003). Reducing unhealthy behaviors: Where do we start? American Journal of Public Health, 93 (5), 704.

Maurer, F. A., & Smith, C. M. (2005). Community/public health nursing practice: Health for families and populations. 3rd ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Office of Public Health Practice. (2010). Consultation and training. Minnesota Department of Health. Web.

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Westbrook, L. O., & Schultz, P. R. (2000). From theory to practice Community health nursing in a public health neighborhood team. Advances in Nursing Science, 23(2), 50-61.

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