08 SES 07, Health Education in a Community and Lifelong Perspective
This paper shows the life cycle at the core of the construction of strategies and designs in health education interventions. The aim is to highlight that life cycle model is well suited for designing health education interventions, because it is able to get a level of coherence and sequentiality that will produce greater effectiveness (Abrahamsson, et al., 2005; Alwin, 2005, 2012; Halfon, et al, 2014).
Life cycle is known as a valid construct in the review of human development, especially in health and wellness. It constitutes a framework that is emerging from recent years in the 20th century, but in which there is some controversy about the definition of terms involved in its construction. Life span, life course or life cycle, among others, could be contemplated as complementary elements, but each one brings a differentiating nuance. Those differences come due to the diverse approaches and visions that show the sciences which use them. Cofiño, et al., 2005; Cook, Mils & Lavender, 2011)
But we are mainly interested in the meaning of the progression of stages during a human life. On that basis, we consider that educational interventions should suit these assumptions:
Developmental nature of the human life and of the society in which he lives;
different behaviors of diverse agents implicated in the health area we are interesting in;
different human behaviors facing the same agent in the different stages of life cycle.
This vision of life cycle is clearly showed at smoking intervention, especially in pregnant women, because on this stage of the woman life tobacco is affecting the woman, the embryo, and the foetus. This foetus can become a girl (who would be protected against the passive habit of tobacco), then a teenager (who would be protected against a social environment that could be potentially causative of her smoking habit) and, finally, an adult, who could start a new cycle if he become a smoker expectant mother. (Hser, Longshore & Anglin, 2007; Ranking, 2000; Solomon & Quinn, 2004; Thornton, 2003; Wethington, 2005).
Other agents and social structures, which should be contemplated in health educational programs as cyclical factors, are implicated in this cycle. (Kaufman, 2012; Montes et al., 2002; Nebot et al., 2011; Pineault & Daveluy, 1987).
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