Social and Community Context

Active involvement in one’s community can reduce the risk of depression and increase a sense of purpose. Negative factors such as discrimination and incarceration have the potential to hinder an individual for the rest of their life.

Civic Participation

Voting, volunteering, and participating in group activities all contribute to a healthy community, which contributes to health benefits for participants. Increasing social networks and engaging in meaningful civic activities can help individuals develop and sense of purpose.


Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different kinds of people. Stress depression, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses are increased risks for individuals experiencing discrimination.


When compared to the general population, individuals who have been incarcerated are in worse mental and physical health. Entire families can be disrupted when an individual family member is incarcerated. Emotional and financial strain increases when a household suddenly has only one parent.

Social Cohesion

Strength of relationships and the feeling of solidarity with a community are important for psychosocial well-being, as well as physical health. Emotional stress can be decreased by social support, and neighborly protection in cases of natural disasters can create a safer communal refuge.

To learn more, visit the CDC website.