In the examination of the quagmire of societal values, the influence of health and well-being has assumed various levels of importance. Initially, with the amalgamation of work and a perfecting of industrial innovations, the amount of available human capital to take advantage of this plenty can be viewed as a measure of how well a society is faring. This includes the often overlooked children of that society. In a historical examination of children’s place in modern developed societies, it is time to shift the parameter of success as a society to taking a raw, unflinching lens to the human factors availed to the kids. Temporally, the advent of the discipline of maternal and child health was birthed with the women at the turn of the 20th century. Highlighting the lack of conventional medicine in preventive medicine , particularly for moms and babies, the movement lead by NURSES filled this undeniable void. This movement laughed in the face of the more conventional “wisdom” of curative over preventive measures,
Children, viewed by society generally as in need of paternalistic intervention for their welfare, required a radical call for attention now at all costs! Will the Affordable Care Act pack enough punch? I did not care to wait. Some of my dearest friends in public health right now are weary but impassioned to save moms and babies. Whether it is traveling over land and sea advocating for breast over bottle in prudish societies or negotiating with men for the human right to bare mammary glands to nourish, they are my heroes. Though my research does not presently involve these maternal and child questions, I am writing this posting as my daughter plays with wooden trains and my jumping jack son does a potty dance. So this does matter to me.
Why the need for early intervention? Many public health programs in place do seek to mitigate early onset of avoidable disease. The current favor of community integrated streamlining of care rely on the access and efficiency of the care received by this age cohort. Who is ultimately responsible? From the ecological view, a concatenation of intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and political levels matter. But it is faulty to continue to view each as singular entity, as not embedded and changing as a result. It is not enough to evoke Bronfenbrenner for this. As Neal and Neal (forthcoming) posit, we must turn to “ecological systems theory”. I will not spoil the fun of Neal & Neal’s position (and my own). But we pay homage to ecological but now must investigate the “networks” in those Russian Doll diagrams we are used to seeing when the ecological spirit is called upon. Concentric and networked…Makes sense to me. Stay tuned to Orgcomplexity as I develop and unveil my original systems models that pays homage to Neal & Neal.
Neal, J. & Neal, Z. (in press) Nested or networked? Future directions for Ecological Systems Theory”. Social Development. Retrieved on February 10, 2013 from https://www.msu.edu./~zpneal/publications/neal-nested_networked.pdf