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Title:Race, Class, and Health: Health Behavior and Hypertension in Black and White Americans
Author(s):Duelberg, Sonja I.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Huff, James O.
Department / Program:Geography
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Health Sciences, Public Health
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:Previous research has shown that the health of black Americans is persistently worse than that of white Americans. The aim of this dissertation is to comprehend why these racial differences in morbidity and mortality exist. For this purpose racial differences in health behavior and hypertension are analyzed. In this dissertation the social model of health is adopted and its validity tested. As a theoretical framework for this study, the focus is on the minority status of blacks in the United States. In particular, the argument is made that both race and class affect health. Furthermore, the effect of the spatial context is considered.
In part I of this dissertation racial differences in the following health behaviors of women are analyzed: exercising, having a favorable weight, being a non-smoker, receiving a Pap test and receiving a breast exam. The method of analysis is multiple regression using progressive adjustment.
In part II of the dissertation racial differences in hypertension are analyzed for women and men separately. A path analysis is used to test the hypothesis that race and class jointly influence hypertension. An extended path model is developed to identify the factors, such as health behaviors and stressors, that comprise the link between race/class and hypertension.
The data for both parts of the study come from the 1985 Health Interview Survey.
The results of this dissertation indicate support for the minority theory. Race and class both affect health behaviors in women. Health behaviors are also one link between race/class and hypertension in both women and men. Similarly, race and class both affect hypertension in women and men. It appears that the different social and economic experiences of blacks and whites are partly the reason for the variation in hypertension between the two groups. While class is important, race is the primary factor contributing to the differences in hypertension between blacks and whites, likely in the form of racial discrimination.
Issue Date:1993
Description:158 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9411607
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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