The social environment of a community includes the social connections people have with each other, the ways in which people participate in and contribute to community life and other factors that influence the experience of inclusion and safety. Family connections may pass on culture, traditions and systems of belief and friends can provide advice, support and company in activities. These connections (or lack of connections) shape personal choices, behaviors and sense of self and well-being. For example, if someone’s friends and family are physically active, that individual tends to be as well. If someone regularly feels ignored and/or mocked by the people around them, that person may experience diminished mental and physical health. Employment and volunteer activities are means by which people participate in community life and come together to achieve common goals, both of which provide benefits to both individual and community health and well-being.


Casper, M. (2001). A definition of “social environment”. American Journal of Public Health, 91, 465.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. (2013). How Social and Economic Factors Affect Health. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from

Scottish Public Health Observatory. (2018). Social enviroment: introduction. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from