The changing influence of determinants through different life stages examines how the determinants level of influence on your health changes as you age and move through various life stages. Life stages include more than just ageing. Life stages include things such as graduating (HSC, University or TAFE), getting married, buying a house, having children and much more. At any stage in life you are a particular age in a particular context.
The syllabus learn to states you should assess the degree of control individuals have over their health, by exploring questions such as:
- how does the level of influence of the determinants change over time?
How does the level of influence of the determinants change over time?
It is easy to say that at a young age the determinants have a much larger influence on your health than as you get older, but this is not entirely true. For example, a child’s health is largely determined by their parents. Parents control what they eat, where they live, when they access health services, who their peers are, what kind of education they might have in the future and much more.
However, their parents are also restricted by the more influential determinants for their stage of life. They may have financial and work commitments which limit their ability to chose where to live or they access to health services. They may have a poor level of education and chose to eat unhealthy food thinking that it is good for them. They can change some of these things, but often change requires money and/or support. If neither is available, if income is low and family are not close or the relationship is bad then change becomes harder and risky, resulting in many not choosing to make the changes necessary. Thus their health is still heavily influenced by the determinants.
Other examples of the changing influence of determinants through different life stages include:
- adolescence when peers have a larger influence on your health than they did when you were younger and the influence of family begins to decline.
- leaving home can result in less influence from parents, or peers and a greater influence from your own knowledge and skills.
- An adult with a mortgage is highly influenced by socioeconomic factors.
- Children are heavily influenced by sociocultural factors as family control many aspect and input values, religion and cultural traditions.
- Between ages 5-21 in Australia education increases in influence as your level of education increases dramatically.
- geographic location increases if disability occurs or increases (often with age), e.g. moving into a nursing home when you need 24/7 care for dementia.
The changing influence of determinants through different life stages varies from person to person, but has a general flow with some determinants having less influence as you move through life (peers, parents), while others can increase (employment, children, environment).