Social Ecological Model (SEM) - Integrated Social Work - समाज कार्य शिक्षा

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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Social Ecological Model (SEM) - Integrated Social Work


Social Ecological Model (SEM)

The Social Ecological Model (SEM) is a theory-based framework for understanding the multifaceted and interactive effects of personal and environmental factors that determine behaviours, and for identifying behavioural and organizational leverage points and intermediaries for health promotion within organizations.  There are five nested, hierarchical levels of the SEM:  Individual, interpersonal, community, organizational, and policy/enabling environment (Figure 1).   Table 1 provides a brief description of each of the SEM levels.  The most effective approach to public health prevention and control uses a combination of interventions at all levels of the model.

Figure 1.  The Social Ecological Model


Source:  Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Social Ecological Model:  A Framework for Prevention,

(Retrieved April 21, 2014).


Table 1.  A Description of Social Ecological Model (SEM) Levels

SEM Level



·         Characteristics of an individual that influence behaviour change, including knowledge, attitudes, behaviour, self-efficacy, developmental history, gender, age, religious identity, racial/ethnic/caste identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, financial resources, values, goals, expectations, literacy, stigma, and others.


·         Formal (and informal) social networks and social support systems that can influence individual behaviours, including family, friends, peers, co-workers, religious networks, customs or traditions.


·         Relationships among organizations, institutions, and informational networks within defined boundaries, including the built environment (e.g., parks), village associations, community leaders, businesses, and transportation.


·         Organizationsor social institutions with rules and regulations for operations that affect how, or how well, for example, MNCHN services are provided to an individual or group; schools that include MNCHN in the curriculum.

Policy/Enabling Environment

·         Local, state, national and global laws and policies, including policies regarding the allocation of resources for maternal, newborn, and child health and access to healthcare services, restrictive policies (e.g., high fees or taxes for health services), or lack of policies that require childhood immunizations.




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