​Social Cognitive Theory and Social Networks and Social Supports

Social Cognitive Theory and Social Networks and Social Supports

Individual psychology is an important component of health behavior and health education, but social interactions and environmental factors are also important. There are numerous theories and models that explain the relationships between and among individuals, their environments, and health behaviors. For this Discussion, you continue your exploration of health behavior models by exploring Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and social networks and social supports.

SCT explains the relationship between individuals and their environments as mutually determined, with each having an effect on the other. Thus, as individuals change, so do their environments, and vice versa. According to this theory, there are five categories of factors that affect interpersonal health behavior: psychological determinants, observational learning, environmental determinants, self-regulation, and moral disengagement (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008). Social networks and social supports is not a theory, but rather a model of interpersonal health behavior. According to this model, social networks, that is, all the relationships that a person has in his or her life, exert some influence, whether positive or negative. These relationships can be harnessed in the form of positive interventions by way of social support.

For this Discussion, review the case study below. Analyze the scenario in the case study using either SCT or social networks and social supports by considering how the model or theory you selected might be used to explain and address the bullying behavior in the scenario.

On the second day of eighth grade, an older girl shoved Emily into the road. Thinking she was playing, Emily shoved her back. Rumors began circulating within the school and Emily gained a reputation as being aggressive. The older girl was part of a group of girls who continued to spread rumors about Emily; they also began stalking her during gym class. Some of the teachers, believing the rumors about Emily, accused her of bullying the other girl, and cautioned her parents about her behavior.

Roughly once every two weeks, Emily’s parents would meet with the principal to try to convince him that Emily was the victim. No one in authority admitted that bullying existed at the school. Nothing was done.

For three years, the bullying continued with silent phone calls, threats, and occasional physical incidents. Each time after Emily or her parents complained, the teachers would glare at her in the hallway. After the bully graduated, the rest of the group of girls continued the bullying. Once when they cornered Emily against the wall, a teacher approached them and threatened Emily with further punishment if she continued her behavior. The teacher then sent the other girls back to class.

Reference: Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (Eds.). (2015). Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post an explanation of how SCT or social networks and social supports might explain the bullying behavior in the case study. Then explain how the bullying behavior might be addressed within the framework of the theory or model you selected. Support your response with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.