Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Behavioral Diversity and Health Behaviors

This post is part of the requirements for my Capstone project and Master's Degree in Education--Health and Wellness Education through American College of Education.

During my course of study in the Master's degree in Health and Wellness Education program, I realize that I have gained significant knowledge.  Even though I am a Registered Nurse, a mom, a certified fitness instructor, and avowed exercise fiend, there are many components related to Health and Wellness when considering designing a wellness program for a specific population.  I will present some of the information that I have learned.

"Health" is not just about your physical self.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Health is the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity," (n.d.).  Many factors can affect your overall health and being aware of this information can assist an individual to be healthy or a Health Educator to present appropriate curriculum to others.

Behavioral diversity is defined as "various actions that people make and how these actions are similar or different form one another," ("Behavioral diversity," 2018).  Behavioral diversity is composed of influences such as culture and acculturation; social norms; beliefs, values, ideology, and practices.  Your personal health isn't just based on your genetics or eating habits--it is also effected by the culture you were raised in or live in presently, what society considers acceptable or unacceptable behaviors (norms), and the beliefs, values and ideology (concepts and thoughts of a group or individual).

For example, studies show that an adolescent is more likely to become a heavy smoker if one or both parents smoke tobacco,  ("Children of nicotine-addicted," 2014).  This is a behavior related to an influence of a culture (parents) that one lives in.  Peers, friends, and extended family can also have an influence on health behaviors, both positive and negative.

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The same applies to a positive health behavior; parents who expose their children to eating nutritious foods, getting adequate rest, and exercising will be more likely to keep those healthy behaviors as they grow into adulthood.

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Religious beliefs, values (what is important), and practices (application or use of an idea through action) also affect how individuals view health and how they behave, ("Practices," 2018).  We are all made up of experiences, education, family beliefs, likes and dislikes, genetics, and so much more. 

As you can see, there are many factors that influence one's behaviors; there are many more but I wanted to share with you this interesting information on behavioral diversity and health.  I hope that you found some interesting and useful knowledge regarding health behaviors and diversity.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at 


Children of nicotine-addicted parents more likely to become heavy smokers. (2014). Retrieved from 

Frequently asked questions. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Practices. (2018).   /course%20files/course-content/module-content/01-module/m1-04-video-05.html  

Donna M. Wirthlin BSN, RN

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