Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
The Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) was founded in 2000, in recognition of behavior's critical link to human health. Risky and protective behaviors can influence the likelihood that individuals will develop disease, be injured or suffer a premature death. In addition to the behavior of individuals who are at risk, but it is also important to consider the actions of other important players in the social context. Policy makers, for example, determine which behaviors are legal, whether laws are enforced, tax incentives, consumer product regulation, and the funding levels of agencies that are charged with protecting the public's health. Health care providers' practice patterns influence their patients' health both directly and indirectly. Parents are role models for their children, and control to a large extent the hazards that they are exposed to. Manufacturers and the media also influence our health and safety, through the products and norms that they promote. Health is created in a very complex environment, and behavior change programs must reflect that reality. Our students learn how to analyze the web of causation that precedes negtive health outcomes, and how to design and evaluate interventions that promote health.