How Do Relationships Impact on Health Over the Life Course?

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Health behaviours tend to change with time from childhood. Some behaviours take root from childhood while others are acquired during our lifetime especially at the stages of adolescence and early adulthood. It is at this point that one is tempted into doing what is undesirable so as to fit in a particular group and by this, one can be tempted to start taking drugs which will at the end interfere with their health. Social scientists have found that social ties have a gradual to adverse effects on health. These results start during birth to adulthood and may have an advantage or disadvantage to health. They say that adults who have social ties stay longer and are healthier than those who have been isolated. Without social interaction, one feels lonely and stressful which affects the functioning of the body. The study found out that: social relationships interfere with the health of a person through behavioural-physiological and psychological means. It shapes the consequences of throughout the life course, and the benefits and costs of health are not evenly distributed in a given population (Smith and Christakis 2008).

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A situation where there is no social relationship is referred to as social seclusion. Individuals affected by unhealthy relationships encounter death or physical and psychological disintegration. Social integration refers to the general involvement of a person with informal social relationships. It may include having a partner, joining religious groups and even joining volunteer organizations. Social ties benefit health in many ways. A social tie creates a connection between people. Through these ties, one can be relieved from toxic stress which affects the arteries and functioning of the immune system. Another factor is the caring behaviour that triggers the release of stress-reducing hormone hence improving the health of the body. The quality of a relationship has an impact on an individual.

Health behaviours cover a range of personal behaviours that influence mortality, mobility, and health. Some of these health behaviours such as eating a balanced diet and carrying out exercises tend to promote health and prevent one from getting illnesses. However, health can be undermined by drug abuse and poor dieting. The overall involvement in both formal and informal social relationships is associated with a healthy positive behaviour (Berkman and Breslow`s, 1983).

Social ties tend to control our health habits. It instills a sense of accountability and cares for others that then direct individuals to engage in practices that take concern of others. Poor relations lead to accumulation of stress leading to heavy drinking among the youth to cope with unpleasant arousals or even obesity in mid-life individuals.

Supportive social ties create norms and provide information that influences the health behaviour. Unsupportive social relationships provide barriers to improving health behaviours and outcomes. It can be seen in the case where there are relationships involving risk taking peers and perceived social norms about drinking which influences alcohol intake psychologically. Social support benefits mental health by providing one with a sense of purpose in life and even relieving stress thereby increasing your lifespan. A supportive social interaction significantly benefits the immune system, cardiovascular and the endocrine system. Emotionally supportive childhood environment helps in the development of the immune-metabolic and regulatory system.

Married couples tend to have a low risk of cardiovascular infection compared to those who have suffered a loss in marriage, and this is due to the psychological support offered in marriage. Spouses may also control the behaviour of their partners through providing advice and help. As much as marriage is viewed as a base of support, poor marital quality has been seen to compromise the health of individuals through stress. In other words, we can say that strain on marriages erodes physical health. Pressure comes in when one is taking care of a spouse. The result involves personal health impact to the provider. Besides, the general health of the person being cared for may worsen due to stress from the caregiver.

Explain how latent, pathway and cumulative effects all shape our relationships

The latent pathway is the relationship between the gaps of initial exposure and the probability of expressions in the future. By latency ties, we take a look at how poor nutrition in the early years of development affects our relationships. Nutritional deprivation interferes with the development and proper functioning of body systems organs like the brain hence interfering with an individuals social interaction. Maternal nutritional deficiency among pregnant women may lead to someone suffering from withdrawal from personal relationships or antisocial personality disorder in their adulthood. Children born during the season of hunger are equally deprived of proper nutrients during the sensitive period in the development of the immune system and the brain. Those born during harvest season are subjected to proper nutrition which improves their health.

Pathway, on the other hand, features dependent series of exposures in which exposure at one stage influences the expressions and probability of other exposures later in life. Early events affect the life course path leading to specific cultural destinations which in the long-run affect the health of a person. Early events during development may not have any significance for the health outcome. An example is seen in divorce. A person whose parents divorced while in childhood displayed antisocial behaviour throughout life since they lacked the emotional-affective support that matches developmental needs.

Cumulative, however, refers to much subjection over the life course. Cumulative effects involve a compounded experience of a series of abuse or neglect within a time specified period. It may also be multiple exposures to a single repetitive factor. An example is a chronic poverty. Exposure to a particular socioeconomic factor has a cumulative effect on behaviour through social or material deprivation. Those from poor backgrounds are not exposed to better facilities or even schools hence have difficulty in joining into healthy relationships. They fill they do not fit in the society hence faces obscurity with instrumental activities of living. Divorce and family distress among parents leads to parental inattention among children. Resources for the development of these children are strained as a result of distress hence denying the kids the ability to access health-related practices such as regular bedtime thus interfering with their health.

What kinds of social environments do you think could enhance relationship development, and how do we help cultivate those environments?

The social environment is a critical influence in relationship development as it dictates who we form social relationships with and the quality of these ties. A given social situation to a person will change them so as to adapt accordingly to the situation. These environments help in obtaining economic support or forming ideas .we can develop these relationships through developing positive emotions toward others avoiding jealousy, building trust and keeping our promises.

Social environments like social influence between individuals or groups give an effective appraisal of a person through others. Individuals form relationships within a society to enable them to meet there goals and these ties in the long-run help in building character within an individual because one can view themselves through the eyes of others. Collective influence such as peer pressure and the pressure to conform drastically impacts on relationship development. Through social environments like networking, we can get feedback, suggestions, and comments concerning the observations of our behaviours. Social situations can empower a person to distort their personal identities.

A role is internalized into a person and causes a change in behaviour by making the person to undertake the task they are supposed to play given the social situation. We can say that the networks help in developing social awareness as people interact and experience a variety of expectations and roles. Peer pressure, however, can impact both negatively or positively to a person depending on the advice or pressure one gets from the group. It is advisable that before joining any group, we take a keen interest on how beneficial it will be to us.

A social environment which involves community structures such as community culture, religion, support, political governance and lifestyle of a particular community have a significant impact on the character of a person and how they relate to others. Having a strong cultural identity creates a sense of belonging to a person when they learn about their culture and seeing others respecting the cultural values. Teaching children on the different cultural variations enable them to develop and behave in a manner that is acceptable in a given society. By so doing, the whole process interferes with their relationship. However, discrimination of particular minority groups will interfere negatively with how a person will relate to others.

Culture can be viewed as a principle of norms of which transforming into them is like giving in to that culture. The society has created norms; hence these views influence many others into the same social pattern. One has to live and behave in a way that is by the standards of a community. Thus all those who live by these norms are bonded to a particular group. In political governance, the government has enhanced relationship development by ensuring equality in the distribution of resources and making laws that require formation of groups so as to benefit from a particular service such as government loans.

Religion also plays a greater part in relationship development. People are bonded to one common factor. As they gather every time to worship, a relationship is formed that is aimed at giving a hand to one another in times of need. Churches have also developed a cord of conduct which requires each follower to abide by. From this, a person is able to identify him or herself to a particular religious group from another (Baber and Xia 2004).

Creating a healthy environment by putting up schools in a social setting can promote better relationships. This type of environment can help to cultivate active characters in a person hence leading to a healthy relationship. We can nature such environments through offering proper schooling to many people, especially children so that through their interactions, they may form or join groups which will influence positively on their behaviour. Through their daily contact with teachers, peers, staff members as well as their peers, children get a clear understanding of the social world and values or practices that support it which in turn affects their interactions. We can say that schooling forms a basis for relationship development from childhood to adulthood. Through school enrolment, people form groups and are associated with a family though they are from different places. Co-curricular activities like sports bring cohesion among people who find it fun playing or watching a particular game by associating themselves with certain teams.

A Childs social environment is dictated by how and where they live and go to school. School staffs are requested to offer support to children towards taking positive actions against discrimination. Children strength and efforts should also be recognized to promote the growth of a positive self-concept and positive relationship between them and others. Having a poor concept contributes to behavioural diffic...

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