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Law and Policy as Social Determinants of Health: How the US Government Created Health Disparities Between Black and White Citizens

Royer, Madison (2021) Law and Policy as Social Determinants of Health: How the US Government Created Health Disparities Between Black and White Citizens. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

An abundance of research exists examining how social determinants of health, such as the distribution of income, the built environment, and job security influence health outcomes, but the role of law and policy is often left out of these important discussions. Laws and policies should be included as social determinants of health as they set the structure in which people live, work, and play. Historically in the United States, laws and policies have been used to segregate and oppress Black Americans. This strategy has created significant health disparities along racial lines. This essay examines the history of four sectors of law and policy: housing, education, employment, and criminal justice. These sectors not only influence individual health status, but over generations, can cause health disparities across entire populations. This issue is significant to public health because health equity cannot be achieved under the country’s current inequitable laws and policies. To improve population health and allow every person the opportunity to be as healthy as possible, a comprehensive political movement rectifying the laws and policies that systematically created inequities must be prioritized by all three branches of government. But first, laws and policies must be widely recognized and accepted as key drivers in health. This essay aims to promote such recognition by clearly linking the actions of Presidential administrations, Congress and the judiciary to the health of the public.


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Details

Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Royer, Madisonmar371@pitt.edumar371
Contributors:
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVan Nostrand, Elizabethevannostrand@pitt.eduevannostrandUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberFelter, ElizabethEMFELTER@pitt.eduemfelterUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberJacob, MauraMaura.Jacob@AlleghenyCounty.USUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 14 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 19:17
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 19:17
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/40893

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