Schools promoting health

Applied social psychology is a branch of psychology that can help people in many aspects of their lives. When looking at one’s life, their health can be affected mentally and physically. While health can be looked at personally, family and friends can also influence health. The health of society is a factor in the schools which can be influenced by applied social psychology.

Healthy body figures and minds are the focus of many people in society. To promote healthy living, prevention is often highlighted. This prevention is a way to decrease chances of developing a disorder or illness (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). Most children are influenced by those around them such as family, peers, and media. These social influences use persuasion to try to reduce and unhealthy lifestyle.

My niece just started preschool this fall. Since it is her first year, my sister and I try to make this experience as special as we can for her so we decided to make Halloween treat bags for her classmates. While we just started gathering out items, we had to keep in mind that the children are no longer allowed to bring in candy or any other type of treats.

To help promote healthy lifestyles to the children, the school does not allow sweets. This type of intervention would be considered a primary prevention. This is when the prevention focuses on healthy individuals (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012).  For children, this is important because they are able to learn what healthy eating is and why it is important. For my niece’s school, they had broccoli on the menu for Friday’s lunch. Most young children do see that as a healthy food, but giving it as an option without any sweets allows them to try new types of food.

When considering other ways to promote healthy living, the model of windows of vulnerability is used by schools. This is when young people are influenced by social influences when it comes to healthy lifestyles and beliefs (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012). Schools use this model to educate our youth and give them the opportunity to choose healthy living. While it would be easy to make treats and candy for my niece’s classmates, her school takes the time to show children better options.

Through the knowledge of applied social psychology, schools are able to promote healthy lifestyles in society. While children learn from parents, they also learn from others around them. Schools use different models to show the children how to be healthy and explain the importance of health. The children are then able to spread knowledge to others around them.


Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., and Coutts, L. M. (Eds.) (2012). Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

1 comment

  1. Rory Richard Rieger

    Thank you for your post about schools promoting health. I do not have any kids (yet) but very soon I will. I do believe it is a good idea that they do something like this because I believe if kids are set with this norm or social influence they will be more likely to continue to this into their own lives. Unfortunately I do not think it is going to change how many kids are fed at home and how there parents promote healthy diets. I think this is more a teaching kids of moderation. We live in a society where we promote more is better. I don’t think the candy is the problem I think its teaching and helping kids learn moderation. I thank you for your post I learned something new.

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