HEALTH AND FAMILY DYNAMICS. Kai-Lit Phua , PhD FLMI Associate Professor School of Medicine & Health Sciences Monash University Malaysia. Biographical Details.
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Kai-Lit Phua, PhD FLMI
School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Monash University Malaysia
Kai-Lit Phua received his BA (cum laude) in Public Health & Population Studies from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Sociology (Medical Sociology) from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds professional qualifications from the insurance industry.
Prior to joining academia, he worked as a research statistician for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and for the Managed Care Department of a leading insurance company in Singapore.
He was awarded an Asian Public Intellectual Senior Fellowship by the Nippon Foundation in 2003.
“The Lost Children of Rockdale County”
Changing roles (role = “expected behaviour” that goes with a social position)
People marry later, have fewer kids, and also have them later
Single parent families (these are more likely to be poor)
Role conflict: Being a good doctor to one’s patients versus being a good mother to one’s kids
1) Effects on Illness Behaviour:
Stoic? self-medicate? seek alternative medicine? Effects on medical adherence
e.g. religion & health (faith healing, Jehovah’s Witness)
2) Effects on patients with long term illness:
Quality of care provided by family members (female relatives as care providers for kids, husbands, in-laws and elderly parents)
3) Family and social networks promote health:
Socially isolated have poorer mental health; recover slower from sickness
“Troubled family that has a negative effect on the physical or psychological well-being of its individual family members”
4) Dysfunctional families and poor parenting:
Families with divorced parents are NOT NECESSARILY dysfunctional families !
5) Learning of health-related behaviour
e.g. quality of diet and health (including obesity), smoking and passive smoking, alcohol (religion & alcohol consumption), risk-taking behaviour, values and behaviour (including sexual behaviour)
6) Family changes can affect health
“Stressful life events” such as marital breakdown and divorce, death of spouse etc. increase risk of sickness for other family members
Large families: can affect health of kids in a negative manner
1) Effect of chronic disease or death
Role changes: if the wife gets sick or dies, the husband has to adjust (or vice-versa)
Economic pressures: family member stops work to care for the sick, patient is unable to work, medical bills become high
2) Stress from taking care of sick family member
e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, serious mental illness, relative who is bed-ridden or incontinent
3) Stigmatizing diseases such as HIV/AIDS
e.g. hostility from neighbours, abandonment by own family