How do family, friends, and community influence individual health and lifestyle?  Identify at least 3 positive and 3 negative effects.

The influence of family, friends, and community on individual health and lifestyle has been studied extensively. Research indicates that both positive and negative outcomes result from social influences (Davies et al., 2017). Positive effects include increased access to resources, improved mental health, better eating habits, and stronger support systems (Goodwin & Steinberg, 2018). On the other hand, negative impacts can occur when people have poor self-esteem or adopt unhealthy behaviors due to pressure from peers.

Positive Effects:
First, individuals may benefit from having access to financial resources through their family or community. According to Davis et al. (2017), “access to economic resources is an important source of health benefits for a range of populations.” This can be especially helpful for those who are economically disadvantaged by providing them with the means to purchase healthy food or medical care.
Second, family structures can provide emotional stability which can lead to improved mental health outcomes (Kabasakalis & Theodorakis 2016). Having strong relationships with loved ones provides a sense of belonging which can reduce stress levels in individuals who otherwise feel socially disconnected or alienated. Additionally, these connections often create protective factors that shield people against mental illness such as depression or anxiety (Goodwin & Steinberg 2018).

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