Your Working Definition of Community Health Education Theory

Public health problems have existed for thousands of years. For those interested in investigating and finding effective solutions to these problems, the decades since the mid-20th century have seen an unprecedented growth in the use of theory to bolster the relationship between research and practice. The theory or theories that “fit” a public health program can mean the difference between its success or its failure.

There are myriad theoretical frameworks and models from which to choose, both from the social sciences and the “hard” sciences (e.g., biology, physics). It is important to understand a wide variety of theories and to focus not only on the differences but on the similarities among theories. Bandura stated “theories are interpreted in different ways depending on the stage of the development of the field of study.” Public health is a newer field; thus, community health education theories may still be in the process of trial, change, and retesting.

Consider the application of community health education theories. One theory might fit Problem A but is not appropriate for Problem B. Conversely, multiple theories may each fit one problem perfectly. How do you choose the best theory(ies)?

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and the media titled “Overview of Public Health and Behavior Change Theories.” Think about the various types of theories. Consider the use of community health education theory and how this type of theory differs from other types of theories used in public health.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post your working definition of community health education theory. Then explain how community health education theory is different from other types of theories used in public health.

Link to video…

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