This book develops a new model of the genesis of health, on the basis of the interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Hurrelmann and Richter build upon the basic theories of health and the popular model of salutogenesis to offer a comprehensive interdisciplinary theory of health genesis and success: Productive Processing of Reality (PPR).

The authors show that health is the lifelong dynamic process of dealing with the internal reality of physical and psychological impulses and the external reality of social and material impulses. To demonstrate this, the book is split into three interconnected parts. Part A analyses the determinants of health, providing an overview of the insights of current research and the impact of socioeconomic influences and gender on health. Part B covers public health, social, learning and coping theories, all of which understand health as an interaction between people and their environment. Part C draws on these four theories to outline PPR, stressing the interrelation between physical and mental constitution and the demands of the social and mental environment, and suggesting strategies for coping with these demands during the life course.

Understanding Public Health: Productive Processing of Internal and External Reality will be valuable reading for students and researchers in psychology, sociology, educational science, public health and medical science, and for policymakers in public health.

chapter |3 pages


part A|24 pages

Determinants of health

chapter 2|7 pages

The Impact of Socioeconomic Status

chapter 3|9 pages

The Influence of Gender and Age

part B|30 pages

Basic theories of health

chapter 4|9 pages

Psychological Theories of Health

chapter 5|9 pages

Sociological Theories of Health

chapter 6|6 pages

Public Health Theories

part C|44 pages

Understanding public health

chapter 7|5 pages

The Concept of Salutogenesis

chapter 9|20 pages

Strategies of Public Health