224.689.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 2nd Term | 4 Credit(s)
TTh 8:30:00 AM
  • Course Description
    Provides students with conceptual tools to analyze health-related behaviors and the social, cultural and environmental context in which they occur. Applies concepts and theories drawn from medical anthropology, psychology and sociology to programmatic examples from Latin America, Africa and Asia concerning care-seeking, treatment of sick children, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, voluntary counseling and testing, sexual risk behaviors, intimate partner violence and other behavior change challenges in public health.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Teaching Assistants

    • Erica Koegler
    • Kerry Scott
    • Ginny Fonner
    • Sarah Dalglish 
    • Lauren Ellis


  • Intended Audience
    MSPH and PhD students in Social and Behavioral Interventions Program, Dept International Health; MPH students in Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration; students interested in implementing behavior change interventions in diverse cultural settings
  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation is based on five 2-page discussion papers based on issues raised in discussion groups, and a final written assignment

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Please see the information on assignments posted in the Class Sessions.  The information here is not up to date.

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Course Readings Database in RefWorks (Database not yet updated)

    • RefWorks is free, online bibliographic management software.  A tutorial on how to use RefWorks is available at
    • The course reading list is available in a RefWorks shared folder at the following URL. 
    • Copy this address and paste it into your browser if clicking on it does not take you to the site: [pending]
    • The course reference library in EndNote XIII format is posted as a Zip file in the Online Course Library for Class/Session #1.


  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Contact Information
    Peter Winch
    Julie Denison
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • describe conceptual tools drawn from medical anthropology pertinent to design of behavior change interventions including standards of efficacy, illness taxonomies, illness etiology, levels of causality, meanings of medication, public and private domains,
    • identify and map the key components of common models of health behavior change at the individual level, and difficulties encountered when trying to apply them in different cultural contexts
    • describe psychological and anthropological perspectives on risk perceptions, and models of diffusion of innovations and influence of the mass media and apply to specific case studies
    • be familiar with basic terminology for describing households, kinship systems, communities and social capital and identify their significance for public health interventions
    • Discuss the basic components of the intervention modalities, including Social Marketing, Peer Education, Counseling, Harm Reduction, Diffusion of Innovation, and Community Mobilization
    • integrate the major theories covered in class with the various interventions modalities presented
    • apply appropriate combinations of theoretically based intervention modalities to case studies
  • Course topics

  • Contact Information(from old syllabus)

    Julie Denison, MHS PhD
    Office: E5032
    Tel: 443-287-2704
    Home Page:

    Peter Winch, BSc MD MPH
    Office: E5533
    Tel: 410-955-9854
    Home Page:

  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)


  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at