Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper brings EHF staff and trusted partners together to analyze the research topics and health trends that are central to EHF’s vision for a healthier Texas.

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Reflections on Positive Deviance: Sit a Spell

Professors in the School of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin University used the Positive Deviance approach to learn what practices set social service providers whose clients achieved unexpected success apart from the typical provider.

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Learning with Communities as they Discover Solutions for Nutrition Security

Aetna and EHF joined forces to explore food security using the Positive Deviance Approach, which uses solution discovery to address complex social challenges. Instead of asking, “Where is food insecurity the worst and how do we fix it?”, solution discovery asks, “Are there people who consistently have healthy food even though they’re living in the same circumstances where others do not?”

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Finer Points and Nuances of The Positive Deviance Approach

The foundation of the Positive Deviance approach is the belief that in every community, organization, or social system, there exist individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and practices have enabled them to succeed (relative to their peers) while facing the highest odds and with no extra resources. These individuals deviate from the norm (hence “deviance”) and have succeeded in overcoming the problem (hence “positive”). Because these individuals found success in spite of great odds represents social proof that local and sustainable solutions exist, and we may be able to learn from them.

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Longitudinal Analysis of Texas Health Poll Results 

In partnership with Harvard School of Public Health, EHF conducted a longitudinal analysis of the opinions and views of Texans. Longitudinal analyses are important when looking beyond a single moment of time and enable us to recognize opinion shifts or salient concerns over time.

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