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Education as a Social Determinant

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    Critically discuss the claim that education is a social determinant of health, and that it is closely related to other determinants of health. Locate your discussion within an Australian context. Education is recognised as social determinant of health by the World Health Organisation, amongst many others such as, ethnicity, income, gender, housing, employment and socioeconomic status (World Health Organisation, n. d). The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines determinants of health as: The condition in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including the health system.

    These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. The key purpose of this essay is to discuss why education is seen as a social determinant of health and also how education is closely related to other determinants of health, such as employment, income, socioeconomic status, and housing.

    This essay will analyse current statistics and scholarly articles that address education and its impact on society and health. Inequality in this context can be defined as the unequal distribution of, and access tom resources required for the development and social and emotional wellbeing of adults and children (Zubrick et al. , n. d. ). These resources can include human, psychological and social capital as well as income and wealth (Zubrick et al. , n. d. ). Social capital can be defined as the network of social connections that exist between people and their shared values and norms of behaviour (Griffiths et al. 2009). Education can directly impact on health in many ways. Education can provide individuals and society opportunities to expand knowledge, develop and enhance skills and also empower the community. The South Australian Council of Social Services developed an information paper on the social determinants of health (Cannon, 2008). They highlight education as a social determinant of health and also how closely related education is to other determinants of health such as income and housing. The paper conveys that education provides people with the ability to make future choices regarding occupation.

    This ultimately gives control over future level of income and housing (Cannon, 2008). Unfortunately the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a survey which showed that 54% of Australians aged 15-74 years meet the literacy skills needs for complex demands of everyday life and work (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). Taft (1953), conducted a survey on a coal mining town in Western Australia. His survey was based on what the society valued a certain occupation, income, interest in the job and also education and intelligence required for the occupation.

    After analysing the 277 survey, Taft (1953), found that majority young adults valued education more than the income. High income and high prestige occupations, such as a doctor, meant that, that individuals made use of the education and intelligence. Taft (1953), highlighted that low prestige occupations such as street sweepers, had little intelligence or education. The relationship between occupation and education doesn’t always present good health, as identified by Fijishiro, (2010). He identifies that occupation can bring on stress, a harmful exposure to a person.

    The type of occupation a person is involved in may also by physically harmful and expose health hazards, for example, construction workers (Fijishiro, 2010). Some studies have also shown a negative impact on health from good housing (World Health Organisation, n. d. ). WHO provides a great example of this, by explaining the option of a high education, high income, good housing and for instance, the cost for housing rises or rent rises, then this could impact negatively on health (World Health Organisation, n. d. ).

    Social inclusion recognises that there are people in the world that cannot have the life they want as they are excluded from opportunities to do so (Griffiths et al. , 2009). This can be due too many things, such as family circumstances, community poverty, inadequate housing or illness. Griffiths et al. , (2009), conducted a survey on young women living in an area of high social and economic disadvantage, to determine the impact of that environment on the women. They also conducted a literature review, which identified a relationship with education, unemployment and health.

    They found that people with physical and mental health issues were more likely to have a lower education level and be unemployed. They found that this was due to the lack of access to health facilities and educational facilities. The authors conducted a survey in Villawood, NSW, Australia. One of the questions they asked in the survey was what services and activities should be available in Villawood. Out of the 219 women who participated, 173 of the women said they would like improved access to services such as education, shopping, community services and medical services.

    Unemployment and poor education can decrease the sense of having social support or social inclusion (Ross & Wu, 1995). Research shows that social support groups, for example, work friends and gym friends improves health (Ross & Wu, 1995). Boddy (2009), highlights that women in Australia have becoming more involved in the workforce by perusing careers and undertaking further studies, but this these women are from a socioeconomic community which isn’t disadvantaged.

    Some women from disadvantaged communities in Australia don’t see education and employment as a priority, as emphasis is placed on their role as the caregiver of the home, the gender role norm (Boddy, 2009). A number of studies have been done to show the relationship between income, employment and education, as social determinants of health. According to Wilkinson & Marmot (2003), unemployment puts people at risk of health issues. He highlights that being employed results in better health, and unemployment causes illness and premature death. In order to equip people for work, a certain level of education is required.

    Cannon (2008), also highlights the relationship between health, education and income by stressing that it is not to be underestimated. He conveys that individuals who are employed and earn income enjoy better access to health care and nutrition. Judge & Paterson (2001) convey that level of income during childhood is an important determinant of an individual’s education accomplishment and health capacity. These factors contribute to a person, or family’s living standard and health in adulthood, hence affecting health (Judge & Paterson, 2001).

    Income can provide people with a sense of control over their life, in order to access good housing, good health care facilities and increase the opportunity to gain higher levels of education. (Winkleby et al. , 1992). A discussion paper by the Australian Government, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2009), illustrated the socio-economic status of higher education students. The paper demonstrated that a student’s likelihood of perusing further education is dependent on the parent’s educational level. This study, adds to Judge & Paterson’s (2001) argument, by highlighting the relationship etween education and income. The Australian bureau of statistics highlight the relationship between socio-economic status and education. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). Socio-economic status can be defined as a measure which can be determined by education, income, occupation, or a combination of these social determinants of health (Winkleby et al. , 1992). The Two National Health Surveys (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006) in 1989/90 and 1995, established that people of lower socio-economic status tend to have lower health status than those of higher socioeconomic status.

    This document also highlights that education and socio-economic status is not only related to higher income, but also used to obtain information and services for health. It can also be said that people of higher socio-economic status participate in low levels of health risk behaviours, whereas those of lower socio-economic status engage in high levels of health risk behaviour (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). A review by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006), further emphasizes the relationship between socio-economic status and education in Australia.

    It states that areas with “greatest relative disadvantage typically have high proportions on low income families, unemployed, people without educational qualifications, public housing and people in unskilled and semi-skilled occupations” (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). In comparison, it can be seen that peoples from less disadvantages areas had higher income earners, more higher qualifies people and highly skilled professional occupations (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). Closing the gap” is a campaign that aims to reduce the Indigenous disadvantage in areas such as life expectancy, child mortality, access to education and employment (Zubrick et al. , n. d. ). Education is not only closely related to income, employment and socio-economic status but it also relates to ethnicity and race. There are clear differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in many, if not all qualities of life (Zubrick et al. , n. d. ).

    Statistics show that Indigenous Australians present with lower standards of health, education, income, employment, housing and a high presences in the criminal justice system (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006). Nationally, data shows that Indigenous Australians are more likely to have lower levels of education, be unemployed and live in poverty (Tascoss, n. d. ). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011), younger and adult Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders were more likely to completed year 12 than the older adults.

    Over time education has increase in the Indigenous Australian society (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). However, unemployment is still a social determinant that affects the well-being and health of Australian society (Australian Government: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 2009). Statistics show that the unemployment was at 15. 1% compared to the unemployment rate for non-Indigenous Australians, which was at 3. 8% in 2008 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). WHO (World Health Organisation. n. ), also presents housing as a social determinant of health. According to the Australian Bureau of statistics, high levels of education is associated with Indigenous household ownership and a decreased amount of overcrowding. Some people are unable to access help. This can be due to many reason, but research does show that level if education can influence housing to some extent (Ross & Wu, 1995). Approximately 25,000 people in 1996 were homeless in Queensland, with 5000 of those people left shelter less (Queensland Health, n. d. ). According to Homelessness Australia (n. d. , young people tend to leave education institutions like schools, universities and vocational training after being exposed to homelessness first hand. Homelessness Australia has developed a factsheet which, highlights that education is necessary for all families to prevent homelessness from occurring (Homelessness Australia, n. d. ). In conclusion, education is identified by the World Health Organisation (n. d. ) as a social determinant of health. Education is related to other social determinants of health, such as income, occupation, housing, ethnicity, race and socio-economic status (World Health Organisation, n. ). Education is used to help individuals develop interpersonal and life skills (Cannon, 2008). These skills are used to gain employment, which provides income (Cannon, 2008). According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006), higher levels of education provides higher levels and better employment and also provide individuals with the knowledge to access health facilities and live a healthy lifestyle. Education, as a social determinant of health, has a very close relation to other determinants of health. Reference Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Education and indigenous wellbeing.

    Retrieved from http://www. abs. gov. au/AUSSTATS/[email protected] nsf/Lookup/4102. 0Main+Features50Mar+2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2006). Health and socioeconomic disadvantage of area. Retrieved from http://www. abs. gov. au/ausstats/[email protected] nsf/2f762f95845417aeca25706c00834efa/21a26c94c69f98daca2570ec00112610! OpenDocument Australian Government: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (2009). Measuring the socio-economic status of higher education students. Retrieved from http://www. innovation. gov. au/HigherEducation/Documents/LowSES_Discussionpaper. pdf Boddy, J. 2009) Challenging gender role stereotypes and creating pathways for goal achievement: a study of a group mentoring programme for women from disadvantaged communities. Qualitative Social Work, 8, 489-508. Cannon, R. (2008). The social determinants of health: information paper. Retrieved from http://www. sacoss. org. au/online_docs/081210%20Social%20Determinants%20of%20Health%20Report. pdf Fujishiro, K. , Xu, J. , Gong, F. (2010). What does occupation represent as an indicator of socioeconomic status? Exploring occupational prestige and health. Social Science & Medicine, 71, 2100-2107. Griffiths, R. , Horsfall, J. Moore, M. , Lane, D. , Kroom, V. , Langdon, R. (2009). Building social capital with women in a socially disadvantaged community. International journal of nursing practice, 15, 172-184. Homelessness Australia. (n. d. ). Homelessness and young people. Retrieved from http://www. homelessnessaustralia. org. au/UserFiles/File/Fact%20sheets/Fact%20Sheets%202011-12/Homelessness%20&%20Young%20People%202011-12. pdf Judge, K. , & Paterson, I. (2001). New Zealand treasury working paper: poverty, income and health. New Zealand Treasury. Queensland Health (n. d. ). Social determinants of health: income fact sheet.

    Retrieved from http://www. health. qld. gov. au/ph/Documents/saphs/20399. pdf Ross, C. E. , Wu, C. (1995). The link between education and health. American sociological review, 60,(5). Taft, R. (1953). The social grading of occupations in Australia. The British Journal of Sociology, 4(2), 181-188. Tascoss (n. d. ). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www. tascoss. org. au/Portals/0/Publications/SDoH%20combined%20for%20web. pdf Wilkinson, R. , Marmot, M. (2003). The solid facts (2nd ed. ). Copenhagen: World Health Organisation. Winkleby, M. A. , Jatulia, D. E. , Frank, E. , Fortmann, S. P. (1992).

    Socioeconomic status and health: how education, income and occupation contribute to risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Americal Journal of Public, 82(6), 816-820. World Health Organisation. (n. d. ). Health impact assessment. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/hia/evidence/doh/en/index4. html World Health Organisation. (n. d. ). Social determinants of health. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/social_determinants/en/ Zubrick, S. R. , Dudgeon, P. , Gee, G. , Glaskin, B. , Kelly, K. , Paradies, Y. , Scrine, C. , Walker, R. (n. d. ). Social determinants of aboriginal and Torres Strait islander social and emotional wellbeing.

    Retrieved from http://childhealthresearch. org. au/media/54874/chapter6. pdf Academic honesty (500 words) In this document, all sources that were used, have been acknowledged with in text referencing and a reference list in American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style. For example, I have quoted more than 40 words directly from the scholarly article. I did this by omitting quotation marks, using double spacing for both my text and the indented quote, which was invented by 5 spaces. I also made sure that it was the exact quote from the scholarly article. Example is shown below.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines determinants of health as: The condition in which people are born, grow, live, work and age including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels, which are themselves influenced by policy choices. The social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities – the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries. The key purpose of this essay is to discuss why education is seen as a social determinant of

    Through my essay, I provided definitions for key words and also referenced the source of definition. For example: Inequality in this context can be defined as the unequal distribution of, and access tom resources required for the development and social and emotional wellbeing of adults and children (Zubrick et al. , n. d. ). When using examples from literature, I referred back to the author(s) and the article each time I summarized the article. I provided a reference list, which is formatted according to the referencing list style. All references are in alphabetical order and formatted

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