International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064




Downloads: 3 | Views: 132 | Weekly Hits: ⮙2 | Monthly Hits: ⮙2

Research Paper | Social Work | Nigeria | Volume 12 Issue 3, March 2023 | Rating: 5.4 / 10


Exploring the Influence of Social Structures on the Health of Individuals

Afomachukwu Evan Okafor | Jacinthe Ibrahim Rihan


Abstract: Social structures are social factors that are made up of human beings. Social structures are frameworks through which society is established. They exist independently of individuals, constrain as well as enable human behaviours, and have the potential of changing over time. This establishment is a determinant of both norms and the patterns of various institutions within the society. The most common example of social structure is religion, law, economy, family, and class.The objective of this paper, therefore, was to assess the influence social structures have on the health of individuals. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and targeted 840 respondents from 7 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Data was collected through structured questionnaires and interview guides, which were pilot-tested before use and utilized the Cronbach alpha test on SPSS to measure both reliability of the research tool and the internal consistency. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics which includes correlation analysis aided by Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) for quantitative while the qualitative data was analysed using narrative and thematic methods. Results showed that social structures indeed have an influence on the health of individuals. Respondents identified social structures such as marriage/family relationships, churches/mosques (religion), hospitals, social networks, social environments, economy, law, etc. They reported that churches/mosques and schools serve as molding grounds and influencers in the communities while the hospitals serve as first responders in the case of health care needs and disease outbreaks. Also, information and knowledge are acquired on healthy living practices, social and spiritual morals, etc. through these structures.The respondents gave social structures an average rating of 3.1 out of 5 showing a 62% influence on the health of individuals. The correlation analysis between social structures and the health of individuals demonstrated a degree of positive correlation, with an estimated average of 0.7. In conclusion, the study showed that without social structures are shapeless because there wouldn?t be an avenue where human beings in society can interact or live together. The social structures are characterized by supporting individuals within a circuit (both financially, morally, care, etc.) and this helps to reduce the effects of stress on the people who are part of the society as well as the likelihood of becoming sick. They serve as molding grounds and influencers in the communities as well as being the first responders in the case of health care needs and disease outbreaks. The economy and educational level of individuals play a vital role in their health. It is therefore very pertinent to note that for a favorable health of individuals and health outcomes, the social structures are to constantly be tilted to the positive side for the society. This includes providing the right structures for good education, health, economy, and morals using religion as well as the law for a saner society.


Keywords: Social Epidemiology, Social Structures, Health, Social Factors


Edition: Volume 12 Issue 3, March 2023,


Pages: 1286 - 1291



How to Download this Article?

Type Your Valid Email Address below to Receive the Article PDF Link


Verification Code will appear in 2 Seconds ... Wait

Top