Changing the Social Environment to Prevent Injuries

  • James A. MercyEmail author
  • Karin A. MackEmail author
  • Malinda SteenkampEmail author

The social environment has a powerful influence on the risk of being injured. This influence is mediated through the myriad ways it shapes the lifestyles, exposures, and behaviors of individuals. The building blocks of our social environment are social interactions or the ways that people act toward, respond to, or influence one another (Robertson, 1987). These interactions are shaped by our culture, the structure of social relations as reflected in the nature of institutions such as the family and the economic order, and processes such as the socialization of children.

The purposes of this chapter are (1) to provide a conceptual framework for discussing the relationship between the social environment and injury prevention; (2) to provide illustrative evidence for a link between the social environment and injury; (3) to articulate the value of modifying the social environment for injury prevention; and (4) to describe and assess the evidence for selected injury prevention interventions, programs, or policies that are related to the social environment.

We hope this chapter will provide a basis for more fully incorporating injury prevention strategies that address the social environment into the mainstream of the injury prevention fi eld.


Social Capital Social Environment Sexual Harassment Violent Behavior Injury Prevention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Violence PreventionCDC National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlAtlanta
  2. 2.CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlAtlanta
  3. 3.Etiology and Surveillance BranchCDC National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlAtlanta

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