Assessing my community was a class project that revealed the core characteristics of my community. In this paper I will attempt to effectively discuss the results of the questionnaire. I will also attempt to compare my data with the overall class data that’s called the aggregate data. Finally I will explain how one of the variables affects us individually and collectively.
Today there are so many factors that affect the quality of health in our communities. In the project, I will assess the quality of health in my community. Throughout history the church has been a major factor and good starting point when attempting to understand the community. For this project I choose New Hope Baptist Church located at 284 Vine Street in Jackson, Ms pastured by Rev. Dock Cooper III. New Hope is located in area code 39206, and approximately 2 minutes from the Interstate 55, and 10 minutes from downtown Jackson. There are several churches located in this zip code (39206); also Highland Village shopping center is one of the more Up-scale shopping centers in Mississippi. This shopping center has over fifty stores, clothing jewelry, sporting and pharmacy. Schools are also spread out over this area Elementary, junior high and high schools. Jackson Academy is also located in the area, this school is widely known as one of the finest schools in Mississippi. Most of the homes and companies are old and are currently under re-construction. The population in the area is very high comprised of mostly middle-aged and young adults. The Jackson Police Department’s precinct #4 is located west of New Hope Baptist Church. Union Planters bank and Trust mark bank and a branch of the post office located in the center of the community. This community is well known as being in, “The Middle of everything”. And finally this is the community I have lived in the past 8 years.
The title of this class project is, Assessing My Community’s Health. The project was to design a questionnaire using different variables and have 25 church members within my zip code to complete the questionnaire. An example of the questions asked, do you have medical coverage, what is your level of income, do you believe that education affects you health. With the data collected, I will use a methodology to explain the steps of the questionnaire and describe my frequency table.
The class was given an assignment to design a questionnaire on How to Assess My Communities Health. First, the class was divided into groups of two to three students, there was only a few students enrolled in this course. The questionnaire consisted of 19 different variables which included: do you have medical coverage, do you believe Mississippi has good health coverage compared to the entire United States, do you feel the level of ones education leads to good health. After the questionnaire was designed, each group submitted their questions to Dr. Shahbazi. The next week the diskettes were returned and a complete list of questions to ask our participants. The questionnaire had to be completed by members of a church located in your zip code that I live in. The Church I used was New Hope Baptist Church. After the questionnaire was completed I signed, dated and thanked everyone for participating, and I explained how this would help me and more importantly help the community in which we live. The next week we completed the variable code sheet during class in the computer laboratory. We analyzed the data and inputted the data into SPSS. Finally after entering the data into SPSS, we developed frequency tables from the data.
While studying the data I noticed a common theme emerging from the research was that immediate outcomes of education play a fundamental role in generating the behaviors, skills, and personal attributes that have early but lasting effects on mental health and cumulative effects on physical health by increasing participants’ self-esteem, self efficacy, problem solving skills, aspirations, future orientation, interpersonal trust social competency and a sense of belonging. (Hammond, 2002).
The level of a person’s education is a good indicator of their overall health. Education may make it possible to avoid negative outcomes like stress and deal with stress better when it happens. According to Michael Marmot, Professor at the University College London, people with less education are more likely to have dangerous jobs and, because they make less money the work two and sometimes three jobs which increases their stress level. My data indicates 80% of the people surveyed believed the level of education affects a person’s health. In zip code 39206, the results of higher education have erased the barriers and other negative beliefs associated with low educated communities. Researchers have found the education has a tremendous social impact on the community. According to R.D. Putnam (2000), the author of bowling alone: the collapse and revival of American community. Effects of education upon self-efficacy and future orientation will mean that the individual is likely to mix with a different social group who shares these values, and these values, and the norms that go with them, may be more conducive to the adoption of healthier behaviors and practices. So the effects of education work collective level as well as the individual one. Socially isolated people are more likely to smoke, drink heavily, overeat and engage in health damaging behaviors. There is a wide range of evidence that shows that education promotes integration and wider social networks in terms of empathy, a sense of community, lower levels of hostility, more supportive relationships, voluntary activity, anti-discrimination, and personal trust.
Health promotion is a major ingredient when it comes to allowing education to affect our society long-term. There is a long tradition of using forms of education to promote health through the adoption of healthy lifestyles. These include exercise, diet, dental hygiene, smoking, alcohol consumption, compliance with medical advice. They also include wearing seat belts, using condoms, not driving when intoxicated. These have cumulative effects upon long-term health. After carefully review the literature, it seems that the emphasis has changed from giving information and raising awareness to empowerment, and more recently to developing within whole communities those qualities that promote health and healthy lifestyles.
Does higher education lead to better health?
While comparing my data with the aggregate data, my table consisted of 25 participants from my community. The aggregate table consisted of 221 people. According to my frequency table 80% believe higher education leads to better health. According to the aggregate table which surveyed 221 people and 71.9 people believe the higher education leads to better health. Comparing the two tables I had 8.1% more people to believe the education leads to better health.
Describing my frequency Table
The participants in the questionnaire were very patient, open and honest. 100% of the participants said they had medical coverage. Also an overwhelming 88% believed that Mississippi’s health care was far behind the national average. A high percentage (72 % and above) believed cultural factors, income, environment, social factors, and a person’s overall behavior directly impact their health. 100% of the participants were above 18, and 24% was between 39 and 45 years old. 48% of the participants have attended college, and finally, 56% said their income was more than $3000 dollars monthly.
82% of the participants said they currently have medical coverage; also 71% believed that Mississippi’s health care was behind the national average. A high percentage of participants believed that government, income, cultural, environment, and social directly impact their health. 22.6% of the participant’s age ranged between 39-45 years of age; and 36.7% said their income was more than $3000 dollars monthly. Finally 44.8% said they attended college, and 76.5% were African American.
How Education Effect your Health
Education is a powerful key to success that’s used in understanding our health. Education may seem like a straightforward concept, but there are many ways to think of education and many ways to measure it. Measurements can include the number of years of education completed or whether a person obtained a specific credential (high school diploma, undergraduate degree.) Education can cause changes intellectually, leading to better skills that can result in higher paying jobs. According to the Center for the Advancement of Health, researchers have found out that mothers with less than 12 years of education are less likely to have received care in the first trimester of pregnancy than mothers with 16 or more years of education. Also, women with less than a high school diploma are almost 10 times more likely to smoke or drink during pregnancy. According to J.C. Lovejoy (2002), mortality rates overall and for specific diseases is higher in the United States for individuals with lower education or income status. Exceptions to this include death rates for breast cancer and external causes in women. Also, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are more common in individuals with lower levels of education. The prevalence of these diseases varies also by income, race, and gender. Data from 2001 indicates that among adult’s ages 25-44 with less than high school education, the death rate (per 100,000 people) from motor vehicle crashes was 27.3; for high school graduates the rate was 20.7, and for those with at least some college the rate was 8.7. The statistics clearly show the advantages of education in terms of better health. However, one must not overlook the fact that with the gain knowledge individuals tend to make better choices. Behavioral changes are the key to better health!
People with more education have better physical and mental health; also education helps improve the overall quality of people’s lives. By helping people get better jobs, it reduces financial worries. It builds self-esteem, feeling of being in control; it also makes them critically aware of media messages about health. It contributes to health behaviors, such as moderate drinking, anti-smoking, according to the Institute of education at the University of London (Dec. 2004). As stated earlier, education reduces inequalities, creates intolerance, build social cohesion and boost the health of whole communities.
As a result of the research I’ve come to this conclusion regarding “does
Education lead to better health?” Education has shown to be a powerful and unique predictor of health outcomes, lower levels of education are associated with poor health and higher levels of education are associated with better health.