An Introduction to the Ecological Model in Public Health

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Date Developed: June 2013. Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Women’s and Children’s Health Policy Center. Presenter(s): Marjory Ruderman, MHS. Type: Narrated Slide Presentation. Level: Introductory. Length: 10 minutes.


This video presents a very brief explanation of the “ecological model,” sometimes called the “social-ecological model”. The presentation begins with an analogy related to body systems to convey the model’s concepts of interconnectedness of factors influencing health, the types of important questions addressed in this model and the pathways it suggests for intervention. The genesis of the model is discussed, and the topic of obesity is used to demonstrate the ideas embedded in the model and their application to public health practice. Downloadable slides and a transcript of the presentation are provided.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.