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Theories for Health Promotion and Public Health Intervention

Course Number
CHL5106H (formerly CHL5804H)
5100 (Social and Behavioural Health Science)
Course Instructor(s)
Billie-​Jo Hardy

Course Description

Theory is an invaluable tool for public health practitioners and researchers, to ensure that interventions build upon existing knowledge for maximal public health impact. The goal of this course is to provide students with a strong foundation in the primary theoretical perspectives that inform current research and practice in relation to health promotion and public health intervention. The focus will be on critical examination of the strengths and limitations of theories operating at the individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and system levels. The course will equip students with a theoretical ‘toolbox’ to ground their future work in health promotion and public health intervention.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the primary individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and system-level theories and concepts most often used for health promotion and public health intervention
  2. Describe examples of the application of these theories
  3. Critically assess these theoretical perspectives in order to appreciate both their value and their limitations in the field
  4. Propose a public health intervention or research study that is grounded in two or more of the theoretical perspectives studied in the course.

Methods of Assessment

Assignment #1: Social Ecological Model 20%
Assignment #2: Class Facilitation 20%
Assignment #3: Critique Paper 20%
Assignment #4: Final paper 40%

General Requirements

  • Students would benefit from having taken at least one advanced undergraduate course addressing social science theories of behaviour (e.g. Psychology, Sociology).