Posted: July 22nd, 2021

Reflective Essay On the effect of SDoH on wellbeing


Good well being is a commodity that's arguably onerous to realize and tough to take care of. The World Well being Group (WHO) defines well being as “a state of full bodily, psychological and social well-being and never merely the absence of illness or infirmity” (WHO, 2019). Well being has additionally been proven to be impacted by a number of social determinants of well being (SDoH) that we face as people and as a society. In line with WHO (2019), SDoH is the circumstances by which individuals are born, develop, work, reside, and age, and the big array of techniques and forces that form the situations of on a regular basis life. A number of SDoH influences well being and wellbeing both by a direct pathway such because the impact on psychological well being or not directly by the interplay of revenue and training on well being. As a result of this impression of SDoH on the general final result of life, this reflection paper will look at the impact of SDoH on wellbeing. Extra particularly utilizing knowledge entries from my every day logs between October third and October ninth as examples and numerous theoretical frameworks and literature proof to help claims, this paper will draw on three SDoH chosen from the log and replicate on how they work together as a complete to have an effect on my wellbeing. The reflection will then illustrate how my social help community, my tradition, and my (un)wholesome behaviors work together with one another and work as a system to impression my wellbeing.

The impact of a social help community on well being and wellbeing has been confirmed globally and supported by proof to elucidate the bidirectional nature of the affiliation (Gallagher, 2008). Lin et al., (1979) describes social help as a sort of help that's accessible to people by social ties to others, teams, and the bigger neighborhood. My household, pals, and friends have all performed essential roles in my life not solely throughout instances of stress but additionally in celebratory moments. Granovetter (1978) notes that the affect any particular person has on one other’s habits could depend on the connection between them and classifies household and shut pals as robust ties whereas neighbors and friends type weak ties. My social help networks are sometimes accessible once I want them, they usually all tackle completely different features in my life. For instance, my household is extra concerned with regards to crucial points in my life akin to well being considerations whereas my pals and friends are extra useful with regards to offering primary data on a problem of concern or serving to me deal with mini stressors of life. The completely different impact every of them has on me is what Granovetter (1973) termed because the impact of robust ties versus the energy of weak ties in interpersonal relationships.

In line with Granovetter, the energy of ties in interpersonal relationships is a mixture of the emotional depth, the intimacy, the period of time, and the reciprocal companies which characterize the tie (Granovetter, 1973). As such, in robust ties, these traits are extra distinguished to a bigger extent than weak ties. Though I've a transcendent relationship with my pals and friends, they usually wouldn't be my first level of contact throughout a tough second in my life if I might simply as simply attain my household. Lately whereas finishing my every day logs, I skilled a couple of low factors within the day and though I used to be with my friends all through the week, I didn't go to them for help. As a substitute, I referred to as my grandmother who lives in a special nation simply to have a dialog. She had a heat that I skilled rising up and felt snug with any recommendation she supplied. I additionally trusted that she is going to at all times know what the fitting to say is and as such I didn't hesitate to name her throughout such moments.

Though I can speak in confidence to my grandmother about nearly something, there are specific conversations I can't have along with her for the only purpose that she is household. These conversations could vary from film preferences to reminiscing about previous social experiences with my pals. I can nonetheless comfortably have interaction in such conversations with my pals and peer teams. That is made attainable by advantage of my weak ties working as a bridge which Granovetter (1973) argues encourages the diffusion of behaviors, concepts, and data throughout people who underneath regular circumstances place themselves distant in a social community (Somma, 2009). This deduction applies to a number of conditions I recorded within the every day logs. In a single particular log entry, I mentioned the method of gathering data on dental care protection at Western College. This course of required that I discover details about the protection, what it entailed and the length of protection. This data was all gathered from my friends who have been conscious of the protection and I primarily based my resolution to make an appointment on their previous experiences with the protection, confirming Granovetter’s idea that weak ties will probably be extra more likely to set off a constructive response to a suggestion  (Granovetter, 1973).  

Simply as there is a gigantic quantity of proof that exhibits the affect of social help networks on well being, the impression of tradition and faith on wellbeing has been proven in a number of research and even in mainstream media. Cambridge Dictionary defines tradition as “the lifestyle, particularly the final customs and beliefs, of a selected group of individuals at a selected time” (“Tradition”, n.d, tradition noun (lifestyle) part). Tradition shapes the best way we take a look at life and even influences social help networks and the coping abilities we type. Rising up in a Ghanaian household that emphasised the significance of resilience from a faith-based strategy, faith grew to become a medium by which I expressed my solidarity with my household and tradition. It additionally helped me develop more healthy coping abilities which regularly manifested as resilience (Ozbay, 2007). When reflecting on how my tradition helped me deal with every day life stress, I look towards the collective nature of the Ghanaian tradition and the emphasis positioned on faith to facilitate this collectiveness. Faith influences social construction in a bidirectional relationship the place it expresses its authority by social management and cohesion (Armet, 2009). This sense of energy and unity shaped serves as a spot of inclusion for me and fulfills the necessity for belongingness.

One of many elementary teachings of Christianity is love by way of service to humanity. To apply this educating, I volunteer at church through the week and on Sunday mornings. There's an affiliation between volunteering at church and my tradition in addition to my coping abilities. As talked about earlier Christianity as a core side of tradition and ties to the church in households types a social construction by which people are both included or excluded primarily based on their dedication. The sense of inclusion arises from the acknowledgment of my dedication to non secular occasions by my robust ties and their willingness to supply encouragement and help all through my life course. However, the sense of exclusion usually stems from my lack of participation in church actions. Due to the excessive demand for my college program on my life and alternatives for socialization normally, I've not been as actively concerned in church actions as I used to be earlier than. In a single incident recorded in my logs, I used to be scheduled to help with the facilitation of "Espresso Hour" held on Thursday evenings at my church. I used to be nonetheless unable to attend as I spent that night finishing course assignments with my studying workforce members. As a result of I used to be unable to help with this system per week prior, my church clergy was not happy with me and I used to be not requested to assist with the facilitation of this system after that.

Volunteering in church doesn't solely function a method of social inclusion but additionally, offers an avenue for me to develop more healthy coping abilities and stress mitigating methods. For instance, my every day logs contained my actions with the church and the general final result. Greeting and welcoming members on the church took my thoughts off all the college assignments that have been due within the coming week which have been inflicting me stress. As I socialized with different in-group members, I felt that I belonged and cared for when the members took an curiosity in my life. On this case, the members of my church served as my social help community by weak ties. 

Wholesome behaviors and the administration of stress are formed by each inside and exterior components and the intersecting elements of our lives of which tradition and social help networks play key roles. In line with Schneiderman et al. (2005) stressors strongly affect our sense of wellbeing, habits, well being, and temper on a day after day foundation. Whereas every day stress turns into a traditional a part of our lives, the upkeep of well being and wellbeing will depend on the interior stability we maintain within the face of the continuously altering setting (Bernard, 2018). Schneiderman et al. (2005), furthermore explains the significance of acute stress and its adaptiveness in younger individuals, inflicting a minute shift within the homeostasis Bernard (2018) hypothesized, nonetheless, with no impeding long run unfavourable outcomes.

As these authors defined, my day after day life experiences encompasses acute stressors that always shake up this stability and trigger a short-term impression on my hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA axis). Acute stressors akin to lacking the bus to class trigger an emotional response of misery which then results in organic response by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and HPA axis (Cohen et al., 2007). This organic response is because of the rapid activation of the SNS by the stressor to impress an involuntary motion wanted to deal with the stress (Chrousos & Gold, 1992). The response then prompts the HPA axis with time which is liable for both bettering, repressing or compensating the consequences elicited by the SNS. Although lacking the bus makes me upset and sad, this emotional response solely lasted a short while and due to this fact the habituation to that stressor is marginal. This resulted in increased habituation of the HPA axis, considerably decreasing the onset of bodily signs (Kirschbaum et al., 1995) and minimal impression on important exhaustion (Kudielka et al., 2006) and thereby mitigating persistent stress arising from lacking the bus.

Although analysis has proven the advantages of more healthy responses to disturbing occasions, reflecting on my every day logs, there have been numerous unfavourable responses and reactions to those occasions. An ongoing stressor I recorded was the shortage of a school-work-life stability. Due to the demanding nature of my program and the numerous deliverables which are required, I'm not capable of decide to working important hours to fulfill my monetary wants. Because of my monetary constraints, I'm unable to have a balanced social life as a result of at any time when I'm not working, I'm specializing in finishing a faculty task. In frustration with this push-and-pull battle of discovering stability, I generally react negatively. An instance of my unfavourable response to disturbing occasions I logged was dropping sleep in an effort to full college assignments. Proof has proven the significance of sleep in psychological well being. Due to this lack of sleep oftentimes, my circadian rhythm is impacted, rising my cortisol ranges and leading to emotions of irritation which I generally react negatively when confronted with the least provocation which incorporates verbal arguments with an individual of curiosity (Freeman, 2017). This unfavourable response outburst usually subsided in complications and nervousness.


Analysis has offered proof that identifies social help as one of the efficient ways in which allow individuals to deal with disturbing occasions (Kim et al., 2008). As a person who comes from a collective tradition, there's an unstated assumption that there's unsolicited social help available to me. Even from once I was a bit lady, there was the tenet that I used to be not required to ask for help of any type from my robust ties. My tradition emphasised that my robust ties would anticipate my wants and can be available to deal with them in the most effective of their capacities (Kim et al., 2008). This unsolicited help is clear in my every day logs displaying my interactions with my robust ties particularly my sister and my grandmother. Although I didn't specific my considerations or voice out issues I used to be encountering once I spoke to them, they have been capable of sense my misery by conversations and offered help with out explicitly recognizing it. On this means, they served as a buffer in opposition to the potential hostile impact of the every day disturbing occasions I encountered (Lin, 1985).

Simply as tradition can mould spiritual views and affiliations, it additionally influences well being by way of the way it shapes and frames our notion of the world (Armet, 2009). As mentioned above, my tradition stresses the significance of resilience and the idea of experiencing and overcoming struggles gracefully by avoiding complaints, working onerous and turning into a productive member of society. Whereas I expertise the pure sense of unsolicited help from my robust ties culturally talking, I additionally discover myself adopting the individualistic nature of Western tradition. I usually really feel that I've the only accountability and obligation to unravel private issues myself and to not search assist, emphasizing the "decide your self up by your individual bootstrap" ideology society holds. This might have stemmed from rising up in Canada, a neighborhood that promotes unity however on the identical time maintains the individualistic nature of problem-solving. (Pomerleau et. al., 1997). Quite the opposite, growing this individualistic strategy to emphasize administration might even have come from a priority concerning the probably unfavourable relational penalties of searching for help (Kim et al., 2008). These interpersonal penalties embrace my worry of presumably disrupting concord between my robust ties or receiving criticism from them. To reduce these unfavourable social penalties, I usually take the unbiased problem-solving strategy and keep away from disclosing any misery I could also be dealing with. Oftentimes, this results in elevated stress and infrequently lead to unhealthy behaviors akin to consuming junk meals to deal with the stress, a unfavourable strategy that impacts my well being and wellbeing.


Scripting this self-reflection paper allowed me to pause and replicate on how the assorted social determinants of well being work together as a system to have an effect on my wellbeing. Intimately, the paper defined how my social help together with my community of family and friends influences my means to deal with disturbing occasions. The reflection additional recognized the impact my tradition and faith have on my (un)wholesome behavioral practices and the way it loops again in a reference to my social help community. Utilizing numerous theoretical frameworks, the paper offered literature proof to help claims made and demonstrated the intersectionality of organic, social and environmental underpinnings that contribute to my total well being and wellbeing. As Public Well being officers, understanding the impact of varied social determinants of well being on wellbeing is crucial to establish areas that threaten inhabitants well being and critically deal with the gaps that exist. By extension, understanding the impact of SDoH on well being and wellbeing will allow the appliance of a extra complete and holistic strategy when growing methods to enhance inhabitants well being and wellbeing.



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