Start Date

15-10-2009 10:45 AM

End Date

15-10-2009 12:00 PM

Description

Fundamental cause theory suggests that because persons of higher socioeconomic status have a range of resources that benefit health, they hold an advantage in warding off whatever particular threats to health exist at a given time. Therefore as risk factors that stratify health are eliminated, socioeconomic disparities in health remain. Accordingly, SES should be more strongly associated with diseases that are more preventable than with less preventable diseases, and SES should have a stronger relationship to health in countries where high economic inequality and no universal health insurance leads to greater competition for resources. Using longitudinal data from Canada (National Population Health Study) and the U.S. (Panel Study of Income Dynamics), trajectories of socioeconomic status are identified using latent class analysis and used to predict the odds of experiencing a highly preventable disease compared to a less preventable disease. Preliminary findings indicate that a history of low income increases one’s odds of experiencing a highly preventable disease in the U.S., but not in Canada. This suggests that social policies and level of economic inequality may buffer the relationship between socioeconomic resources and the incidence of preventable disease.

Andrea Willson is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Western Ontario and Director of the Aging and Health Research Centre. Her research focuses on the role of long-term processes and cumulative experience on inequalities in health. Current projects include a SSRCH-funded comparative analysis of differences in the processes linking socioeconomic status to health over the life course in Canada and the United States; an examination of the links between adult health, socioeconomic status, childhood adversity, and the intergenerational transmission of health risk; and she is part of a CIHR-funded research team studying the effects of personal, social and economic resources on the health of women after leaving an abusive partner.

Amir Erfani is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nipissing University in Ontario, with a PhD. in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario. His research is in the areas of social, family, and health demography, studying reproductive health, health inequality over the life course, family transformation and childbearing behavior in developed and developing countries. Amir has recently studied induced abortion, contraceptive behavior, and low fertility in Iran; socioeconomic status and health over the life course in Canada and the U.S.; and familial orientations and childbearing behavior and non-marital births of Canadians.


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Oct 15th, 10:45 AM Oct 15th, 12:00 PM

Socioeconomic History and Preventable Disease: A Comparative Analysis of Fundamental Cause Theory

Fundamental cause theory suggests that because persons of higher socioeconomic status have a range of resources that benefit health, they hold an advantage in warding off whatever particular threats to health exist at a given time. Therefore as risk factors that stratify health are eliminated, socioeconomic disparities in health remain. Accordingly, SES should be more strongly associated with diseases that are more preventable than with less preventable diseases, and SES should have a stronger relationship to health in countries where high economic inequality and no universal health insurance leads to greater competition for resources. Using longitudinal data from Canada (National Population Health Study) and the U.S. (Panel Study of Income Dynamics), trajectories of socioeconomic status are identified using latent class analysis and used to predict the odds of experiencing a highly preventable disease compared to a less preventable disease. Preliminary findings indicate that a history of low income increases one’s odds of experiencing a highly preventable disease in the U.S., but not in Canada. This suggests that social policies and level of economic inequality may buffer the relationship between socioeconomic resources and the incidence of preventable disease.

Andrea Willson is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Western Ontario and Director of the Aging and Health Research Centre. Her research focuses on the role of long-term processes and cumulative experience on inequalities in health. Current projects include a SSRCH-funded comparative analysis of differences in the processes linking socioeconomic status to health over the life course in Canada and the United States; an examination of the links between adult health, socioeconomic status, childhood adversity, and the intergenerational transmission of health risk; and she is part of a CIHR-funded research team studying the effects of personal, social and economic resources on the health of women after leaving an abusive partner.

Amir Erfani is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nipissing University in Ontario, with a PhD. in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario. His research is in the areas of social, family, and health demography, studying reproductive health, health inequality over the life course, family transformation and childbearing behavior in developed and developing countries. Amir has recently studied induced abortion, contraceptive behavior, and low fertility in Iran; socioeconomic status and health over the life course in Canada and the U.S.; and familial orientations and childbearing behavior and non-marital births of Canadians.