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Title:Race, Subjectively -Assessed Health and Visits to Doctors
Author(s):Calderon, Alvin Sayoc
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stevens, Gillian
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Public Health
Abstract:Visits to physicians represent the most common method of obtaining health care in the United States. Blacks visit doctors less often than Whites although by most standard measures of health status, Blacks have poorer health than Whites. Why do Blacks visit doctors less frequently than do Whites? I develop a theoretical framework that considers Blacks and Whites as epidemiologically distinct groups. In this approach, I assume that people evaluate their health status relative to members of their racial group. I then test three hypotheses. Among Blacks and Whites of a given health status, are Blacks more likely to rate their own health as "good" or "excellent" than Whites? Among Blacks and Whites of a given health status, are Blacks less likely to visit a doctor? Does the cluster of relationships between objective health status, subjectively-assessed health, and visits to doctors vary by race? I test these hypotheses using data from the 1993 National Health Interview Survey. The statistical results show Blacks rate their health more positively than do Whites and are less likely to visit a doctor. These results suggest that Blacks and Whites appraise and respond to their health with an eye to race-specific standards. The main conclusion of this dissertation is that research investigating health assessment, care-seeking behavior, and physician utilization should consider racial groups as epidemiologically distinct.
Issue Date:1999
Description:186 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1999.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9952977
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1999

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