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Social Support in the Community


The adult population is comprised of people aged above 30 years. The adult population is susceptible to obesity, colon cancer, diabetes, coronary heart diseases, and high blood pressure (Pan, Sherry, Njai & Blanck, 2012). In addition, this population is vulnerable to the mentioned diseases due to lack of physical activity and socioeconomic factors (Powell, Slater, Chaloupka & Harper, 2006).

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Social support

Peer support is a social-based initiative that provides the adult population with experiential knowledge. Peers are instrumental in helping adults change their behaviors, especially those related to sedentary life. In this context, adults become self-determined in improving physical exercises. Peers are perceived to be credible role models who share their experiences and techniques with an ailing adult. Increased longevity and reduced mortality among the adult population are achieved through social engagement.

In addition, social networks are credited with improved self-rated health which is critical in helping adults improve on their diet and lifestyle (Pan, Sherry, Njai & Blanck, 2012). Establishing walk groups and gym clubs in the neighborhood can be integral in encouraging the adult population to indulge in physical exercise (Powell, Slater, Chaloupka & Harper, 2006). Walk groups involve members from a community-based organization like schools and churches.

Social exclusion

Social exclusion involves individuals alienating themselves from community circles. In this context, the adult population is vulnerable to cognitive decline and increased mortality. In addition, the adult population is exposed to poor self-rated health when subjected to social exclusion. Social exclusion through racial, ethnic, sex, and age discrimination is hazardous to the adult population as it hinders equity in terms of access to healthcare services.

Social exclusion from an economic perspective creates poverty among the adult population, making it difficult to access basic amenities such as education and housing. From this perspective, the adult population is exposed to depression and lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity (Pan, Sherry, Njai & Blanck, 2012).

Alternative social support systems

Alternative social support systems are critical in identifying healthy social characteristics that benefit the adult population. In this regard, the social support system identifies the adult population’s need for instrumental, informational, and emotional resources that address related health inadequacies. In addition, alternative social support systems are critical in determining how social environments improve adult health.

For example, the inclusion of a stress-buffering mechanism has been instrumental in helping the adult population cope with stress by providing psychological material resources. Social support systems are critical in influencing normative health behaviors through social controls and peer pressure.

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Nonetheless, this is achieved through the establishment of a main-effect model that promotes the social integration of the population affected by health disparities. Moreover, social support systems are influential when determining the environment and personality, as well as, related changes required in improving the population’s health.

Social capital

Bonds can be integral in improving health outcomes in individual, community, and societal levels of a socio-ecological model (Kawachi, Subramanian & Kim, 2008). Bonds are instrumental in influencing individuals and peers through experiences and improved healthcare practices. Bridges can be used to influence people at the relationship, community, and societal levels of a socio-ecological model. However, this is made possible through health promotion programs, mentorship, and the creation of regulations, laws, and policies (Kawachi, Subramanian & Kim, 2008).

Linkages are effective when used at community and societal levels of a socio-ecological model. In this context, institutions and authority are used to influence individuals and the entire society on matters related to health (Kawachi, Subramanian & Kim, 2008). For example, established health, economic, education, and social policies are used as guidelines in improving the populations’ welfare. Nonetheless, education of the masses through public awareness initiatives takes precedence through life skills training and health promotion programs.


Kawachi, I., Subramanian, S. V. & Kim, D. (2008). Social capital and health. New York, NY: Springer New York.

Pan, L., Sherry, B., Njai, R. & Blanck, H. M. (2012). Food insecurity is associated with obesity among US adults in 12 states. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(9), 1403–1409.

Powell, L. M., Slater, S., Chaloupka, F. J. & Harper, D. (2006). Availability of physical activity-related facilities and neighborhood demographic and socioeconomic characteristics: A national study. American Journal of Public Health, 96(9), 1676–1680.

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