top of page

Social, family context, and prevention of mosquito-borne diseases in developing countries: A case of dengue in Sri Lanka

K. A. Thulitha Wickrama, K. A. S. Wickrama, Michael J. Merten, Sivaguru Thanigaseelan, Sukunan Gunasingham, Saranya Sathiyavasan

Abstract

The Sri Lankan population has been exposed to the dengue virus for years and dengue contraction has emerged as a serious public health concern in recent years. The purpose of this study was to bring an understanding of the individual, familial, and contextual risk and protective factors associated with dengue infection in Sri Lanka from a social epidemiological perspective. The current study uses path analysis in a structural equation modeling framework to analyze data from 313 residents living in 25 villages in Eastern Sri Lanka. The findings showed that spatial, community, family and individual characteristics uniquely contributed to dengue contraction in Sri Lanka, particularly emphasizing the direct role of social and family resiliency factors such as familism and collectivism. The findings also elucidate the mediating roles of individual agency, knowledge, and preventive behaviors linking distal socioeconomic factors and dengue contraction. Additionally, findings yield that physical/spatial characteristics, such as rurality of communities, housing density/clustering and the proximity to stagnant water, contribute to dengue contraction. The identification of specific social, family and intra-individual processes, as well as structural characteristics of communities can be useful for the formulation and implementation of dengue prevention programs.

 

Keywords: Mosquito-borne diseases, social ecology, public health, context, dengue, prevention, developing countries

References

Ajzeen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 665-683.

Aoun, S., Osseiran-Moisson, F., Collins, R., et al. (2009). A self-management concept for men at the community level: The “waist” disposal challenge. Journal of Health Psychology, 14, 663-674.

Barnes, M. D., Hanson, C. L., Novilla, L. B., Magnusson, B. M., Crandall, A. C., & Bradford, G. (2020). Family-centered health promotion: Perspectives for engaging families and achieving better health outcomes. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 57, 0046958020923537.

Bandura, A. (2003). Social cognitive theory for personal and social change by enabling media. In Entertainment-education and social change (pp. 97-118). Routledge.

Berg, C. J., Cox, L. S., Mahnken, J. D., et al. (2008). Correlates of self-efficacy among rural smokers. Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 416-421.

Berkman, L. F., & Kawachi, I. (2014). Social epidemiology. In L. F. Berkman & I. Kawachi & M. M. Glymour (Eds), Social epidemiology. New York: Oxford University Press, 3–12.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32, 513-531.

Bronfenbrenner, U., & Ceci, S. J. (1994). Nature-nurture reconceptualized in developmental perspective: A bioecological model. Psychological Review, 101, 568-586.

Burgess, E. W. (1926). The family as a unity of interacting personalities. The Family, 7(1), 3-9.

Chala, B. & Hamde, F. (2021). Emerging and re-emerging vector-borne infectious diseases and the challenges for control: A review. Front Public Health, 5, 9:715759. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.715759.

CDC (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/guidelines/eastern-equine-encephalitis/community-engagment.html

CDC (2020). https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/mosquito-control/athome/outside-your-home/index.html

Cauce, A. M. & Domenech-Rodriquez, M. (2002). Latino families: Myths and realities. In J. M. Contreras, K. A. Kerris & A. M. Neal-Barnett (Eds), Latino children and families in the United States: Current research and future directions, pp. 3e-26. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Conger, R. D., Conger, K. J., & Martin, M. J. (2010). Socioeconomic status, family processes, and individual development. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 685-704.

Gubler, D. (1998). Resurgent vector-borne diseases as a global health problem. Emerging Infectious Diseases 4(3), 442-450.

Guyll, M., Spoth, R. L., Chao, W. Wickrama, K. A. S., & Russell, D. (2004). Family-focused preventive interventions: Evaluating parental risk moderation of substance use trajectories. Journal of Family Psychology, 18(2), 293-301.

Hairi, F., et. al. (2003). A knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) study on dengue among selected rural communities in the Kuala Kangsar district. Asian Pacific Journal of Public Health, 15(1), 37-43.

Hu, L. T. & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1-55.

Lacey, L. A., Lacey, C. M. (1990). The Medical importance of Riceland mosquitoes and their control using alternatives to chemical insecticides. Journal of American Mosquito Control Association, 6, 1-93.

MacCallum, R. C., Browne, M. W., & Sugawara, H. M. (1996). Power analysis and determination of sample size for covariance structure modeling. Psychological Methods, 1(2): 130-149.

Muthen, L. K. & Muthen, B. O. (2017). Mplus statistical analysis with latent variables user’s guide. Eighth edition, Los Angeles, CA.

Pattanayak, S. K., & Yasuoka, J. (2008). Deforestation and malaria: Revisiting the human ecology perspective. In C. J. Pierce Colfer (Ed.), Human health and forests; A global overview of issues, practice, and policies. ISSN: 9780415848879.

Raudenbush, S. W. & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Rincón Uribe, F. A., Godinho, R. C. D. S., Machado, M. A. S., Oliveira, K. R. D. S. G., Neira Espejo, C. A., de Sousa, N. C. V., ... & Pedroso, J. D. S. (2021). Health knowledge, health behaviors and attitudes during pandemic emergencies: A systematic review. PloS One, 16(9), e0256731.

Ross, C. E & Mirowsky, J. (2001). Neighborhood disadvantage, disorder, and health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 42(3): 258-76.

Sher, C., Wong, H. T., & Lin, Y. (2020). The impact of dengue on economic growth: the case of Southern Taiwan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3): 750.

Wickrama, K. A. T., Wickrama, K. A. S., & Bryant, C. M. (2006). Community influence on adolescent obesity: Race/ethnic differences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35(4): 647-657.

Wickrama, K. A. S. & Wickrama, T. (2008). Family context of mental health risk in tsunami affected mothers: Findings from a pilot study in Sri Lanka. Social Science & Medicine, 66, 994-1007.

Wickrama, K. A. S., & Wickrama, T. (2011). Perceived community participation in tsunami recovery efforts and the mental health of tsunami-affected mothers: Findings from a study in rural Sri Lanka. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 57(5), 518-527.

Winch, P. J., Leontsini, E., Rigau-Perez, J. G., Ruiz-Perez, M., & Gubler, D.J. (2002). Community-based dengue prevention programs in Puerto Rico: Impact on knowledge, behavior, and residential mosquito infestation. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 67(4): 363-70.

 

World Health Organization. (1996). The world health report: 1996: fighting disease, fostering development.

World Health Organization. (2023). Dengue situation updates 685. November, 23, 2023.
 

Reviewer A comments:

Reviewer B comments:

Reviewer C comments:

Authors' reply:

bottom of page