Project Categories

Consigned to Illness: Individual and Community Models of Socioeconomic Status and Health

Award Year: 2013 Investigator: Ed Yelin
The observation that persons of low socioeconomic status (SES) experience poorer health outcomes has been an important focus of research and health policy for several decades, but the gap has not narrowed during this time.

Understanding the Complex Causes of Population Health

Award Year: 2006 Investigator: Sandro Galea, George Kaplan
What really determines whether a population is healthy? Although our knowledge about biological processes, environmental conditions, and socioeconomic factors has expanded enormously, we are not yet able to put the pieces of the health puzzle together.

The Community Context of Well Being: A Longitudinal Study of Social Mechanisms and Neighborhood Processes

Award Year: 2004 Investigator: Robert Sampson
Medical care in the United States tends to focus on individuals, while our public health system (local, county, state, national) focuses on the health of various populations. After more than a decade of studying human development at the community level, Robert J. Sampson, Ph.D. turns his attention to the neighborhood foundations of well-being and the geographic concentration of compromised health.

Understanding Health Disparities from an Economic Perspective

Award Year: 2000 Investigator: James Foster
Recent discoveries linking income inequality and various health outcome measures have sparked debate among health analysts about this issue, its magnitude, causes, and linkages. Many economists remain skeptical about the importance or validity of this hypothesis. Using perspectives of economic theory, this study increases our understanding of the nature and causes of health inequalities.

Income Inequality, Social Capital, and Health: A New Synthesis

Award Year: 1996 Investigator: Ichiro Kawachi, Bruce Kennedy
Inequalities in health by socioeconomic status (SES) are large, pervasive, persistent, and widening. Most theories attempting to explain them use individual-level indicators of SES such as income, educational attainment, or occupation. In contrast, this project builds on a new hypothesis of unequal distribution of income as a determinant of health. Drs.

Social Inequalities in Aging and Health

Award Year: 1996 Investigator: James House
While it is increasingly recognized that medical care is not a major determinant in improving population health, the effects of medical, socioeconomic, and psychosocial factors remain subject to dispute. Dr. House articulates and tests a conceptual framework arguing that psychosocial and socioeconomic conditions of life are major determinants of population health.

Technology and Health Policy in the U.S. and England, 1925-1995

Award Year: 1996 Investigator: Joel Howell
Through the lenses of social history and the sociology of knowledge, Dr. Howell examines the roots of how technology came to dominate the delivery of health care. He includes in his broad definition of technology the knowledge needed to apply it and the systems created for using it.

The Concept of Fundamental Causes in Explaining Social Inequities in Health

Award Year: 1995 Investigator: Bruce Link, Jo Phelan
Drs. Phelan and Link believe that certain social conditions, such as socioeconomic status (SES), may be fundamental social causes of health and disease. Their health and policy relevance which involve access to resources such as money, knowledge, power, prestige and the social connections that determine the extent to which people are able to avoid risks for morbidity and mortality are explored.

Inequality and Health: Patterns and Dynamics

Award Year: 1994 Investigator: David Williams
Dr. Williams addresses several major unresolved issues with regard to the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, he examines the mechanisms and processes by which aspects of SES affect health status and prospectively predict mortality.