Social Support and Social Health

Is it Time to Rethink the WHO Definition of Health
  • Robert M. Kaplan
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 24)


For nearly thirty-five years, physicians, psychologists, sociologists, and epidemiologists have been attempting to include social support and social function in the definition of health status. Despite relentless efforts, it has been difficult to meaningfully define social support as a component of health. In this paper, I argue that the effort to define “social health” should be abandoned. Instead, efforts should be directed toward identifying the role of social support as a mediator of health status.


Health Status Social Support Diabetes Control Social Health Medical Care System 
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

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Dordrecht 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Kaplan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Behavioral MedicineSan Diego State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community and Family Medicine School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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