How do family, friends, and community influence individual health and lifestyle?  

Family, friends and community are all important resources in an individual’s life which can have a profound impact on their health and lifestyle. The relationships that individuals form with these three sources of support form the basis for their physical and emotional wellbeing (McLeod, 2017). Studies have shown that having a supportive family environment is associated with improved psychological development, reduced risk of mental health problems and higher self-esteem (Du Bois & Silverthorn, 2016). Similarly, a strong network of supportive peers can provide encouragement to lead healthier lifestyles such as participating in regular physical activity or avoiding risky behaviors like smoking or substance use (White et al., 2018). Finally, communities can also positively influence an individual’s health by providing access to resources such as healthcare services or leisure facilities like parks (Acevedo-Garcia et al., 2017).

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