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How Religion Frames Health Norms: A Structural Theory Approach

by Elias Mpofu 1,2,3
1
Rehabilitation and Health Services Department, University of North Texas, 1155 Union Circle, #311456, Denton TX 76205 USA
2
Rehabilitation Counselling, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia
3
Educational and Inclusive Education, University of Johannesburg, Auckland, Johannesburg, South Africa
Religions 2018, 9(4), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9040119
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
Religious communities influence health-related behaviors of adherents in important ways for public health promotion. Questions remain about the processes involved and resultant health promotion actions of the religious adherents. This study applied a structural theory analysis to understand the ways by which religious adherents adopt and enact health norms. Structural theory proposes systemic influences on behavioral predispositions at the latent, interpretive, and elective levels. Latent influences on health norms occur through a process of social mediation, predisposing the religious adherents to impute faith-aligned meanings to their health norms. Religious adherents also might adopt interpretation to guide their health norms in those grey areas in which faith-based guidelines are not apparent or open to contestation. Moreover, religious adherents may elect to construct health norms combining faith-aligned and prevailing secular community standards. Public health promotion with religious adherents should address their faith-aligned health beliefs while also addressing their evolving personal health norms. View Full-Text
Keywords: health; religion adherents; knowledge values; secular community; faith-based; interpretive norms health; religion adherents; knowledge values; secular community; faith-based; interpretive norms
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Mpofu, E. How Religion Frames Health Norms: A Structural Theory Approach. Religions 2018, 9, 119.

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