Personal Health History

Basic Requirements:

  1. Must be typed, double-spaced, in 10-or 12-point type.
  2. Must include information from AT LEAST three generations of your family. You are one of those generations.
  3. Must be relatively free from mechanical errors, including typographical, grammar, and spelling mistakes.
  4. This is to be completed in Essay form and should be 800-1000 words in length. This paper will also be submitted to turnitin.

What To Do With “Interesting” Families:

Of course, everyone’s family is interesting! J However, there are family circumstances that may complicate your task. Remember, however, that NOT having information is equally as important as having it. If you don’t have/can’t get information about certain family members, or certain types of health problems, you can always discuss how that lack of information affects you and/or your family.

If you are adopted, you may or may not have much information about your biological family. That’s OK. The family you have grown up in has probably had far more impact on you than the genes or biological traits you may have inherited from your biological family.

If you have step-family members, they have had an affect on you, too. Look into the learned/modeled aspect of health. What have they taught you? What did you pick up from just being around them?

Paper Structure:


*Explain why this assignment is an important and relevant one to do for this class.

*Describe how you collected the information for this paper. Do you think this was a good way to collect the


*Are there any problems with your information because of the way you gathered it?

Health Assessment:

General comments: There are 6 areas of health: physical, psychological/emotional, cognitive/intellectual, spiritual, social, and environmental. You MUST address each and every one of the six areas as per the example discussed below:

*What is your current health status? 

*Discuss both positive and negative health issues. Explain why they are appropriate examples or

issues to be discussing in the particular area of health you are discussing (ie., why is this a

physical health issue), especially if it is a health issue that could be discussed in more than

one place.

*Include health-related habits and behaviors as well as illnesses or conditions.

*Overall, is your health status good or bad? Why do you think so?

*Describe your family’s health status

*DO NOT just list every individual and their health issues.

*Provide over all trends and patterns. Give percentages. Summarize the information.

*For example: what percentage of the family members have particular health habits or illnesses? 

How many generations is that health issue or habit present in? Are there gender differences? 

Are they learned behaviors or hereditary issues?

*Discuss what impact your family has had on your current and future health status.

*Are there health problems you are at higher risk of contracting/being exposed to?

*Are there positive/negative habits you have picked up from being around them?

*Is there information about your family’s health you don’t have that you wish you

DID have? Why or why not?

*Is there information you wish you did NOT know about? Why or why not?

*Did they support you in starting and/or maintaining positive or negative health

habits? (for example, attended all your activities, bought you your first pack of

cigarettes, etc.)

*Are there behaviors you need to change because of what you learned? Why or

why not?

Examples of health information for each of the 6 areas of health:

*Physical: exercise habits, nutrition habits, disabilities, genetic disorders, illnesses, causes of death, weight,

smoking, alcohol consumption, tobacco, medications, risk-taking behaviors, etc.

*Emotional/Psychological: stress management habits, emotional illnesses, anger management behaviors,

ability to discuss feelings with others, attachment style, relationship issues, abuse, phobias, etc.

*Cognitive/intellectual: learning style, cognitive/learning disabilities, sense of humor, educational

experience, problem-solving skills, information processing ability, prejudices/discriminatory

behavior, etc.

*Spiritual: Religious affiliation, strength of religious beliefs, moral code, hypocritical behavior,

discriminatory behavior on the basis of religion, level of moral development (Kohlberg’s Theory, for

example), etc.

*Social: interpersonal relationship style, community involvement, social rules issues (for example, in

trouble with the law), social “style,” impact of social issues on other areas of health, social skills, etc.

*Environmental: occupational hazards or risks, living environment safety issues, recycling, pollution

exposure, risk-taking behaviors, etc.

NOTE: many of these examples may be relevant in more than one of the six areas of health. For example, stress management issues can lead to physical health problems, social interaction problems, and other issues.


  • What did you learn from doing this assignment?
  • Did anything surprise you?
  • If you could do this assignment over again, what would you do differently?

*how you gathered information

*time frame

*how you approached your analysis

*Do you have any suggestions for improving this assignment/making it more useful?

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