Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

The Role of the Sociotype in Human Development and Health over the Lifespan

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

The Role of the Sociotype in Human Development and Health over the Lifespan

Article excerpt

The problem: Attempts have been made to replace the bio-medical approach with that of systems biology, which considers dynamic human behavior (internal factors) for chronic (rather than acute) disease management. They have yet to incorporate the Bio- psycho-social (BPS) model of Engel which adds patients' background and cultural beliefs (external factors) contributing to their susceptibility to, and coping strategies for, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) the increasing domain of global Public Health.

The solution hypothesis: The concept of "sociotype" is proposed as a framework for understanding the interactions between socio-cultural and environmental inputs that influence the life-long development of a person, including relationships, lifestyle and coping strategies. Peri-natal influences on development and subsequent susceptibility to chronic disease are examples of interactions between the sociotype, genotype and phenotype. Disorders of the sociotype, encompassing social determinants of disease (e.g. poverty, education, networking), are major contributors to the increase in NCDs, as well as for mental illness and absenteeism.

What next? Medical curricula for the holistic management of patients should balance basic sciences with disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and public health that attempt to explain human behavior and the social determinants of disease. …

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