Exploring Family and Health Relationships

The Role of Genetics, Environment, and Culture
  • Douglas E. Crews
  • Hector Balcazar


Concepts such as familial disease, familial aggregation, familial resemblance, family care, family violence, family therapy, family dynamics, and family history are increasingly bandied about by the media and popular news magazines of today. These ideas are used widely in the scientific literature, and several contributors to this volume make use of such concepts when describing areas of family scholarship. All are attempting to emphasize that the family is not only a unit of society useful for social analysis, but also a socioeconomic-emotional structure that cares for, interacts with, and sometimes harms its members. The purpose of this chapter is to explore family and familial factors that contribute either to healthy well-being or to its opposite, vulnerability to disease. To accomplish this goal several topics are described regarding family and health. An examination of family aggregations of disease is examined first. In this section emphasis is placed on chronic diseases and their risk factors. The concept of family inheritance and its interaction with environmental factors also is underscored. In a second section, contemporary issues of family and health are examined using several theoretical models as reference points to describe relationships between family and health and the factors contributing to these relationships. Finally, future research and policy implications are discussed.


Family System Contextual Model Marital Quality Familial Aggregation Health Relationship 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas E. Crews
    • 1
  • Hector Balcazar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and School of Public HealthThe Ohio State UniversityColumbisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Resources and Human DevelopmentArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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