Researchers have spent considerable time studying how racial-ethnic minorities experience poorer health than whites [Townsend, P., & Davidson, N. (Eds). (1990). Inequalities in health: The black report. England: Penguin Press; Platt, L. (2006). Assessing the impact of illness, caring and ethnicity on social activity. STICERD Research Paper No. CASE108 London England), and how low socioeconomic status (SES) can negatively influence health status (Lynch, J., & Kaplan, G. (2000). Socioeconomic position. In: L. F. Berkman & I. Kawachi (Eds), Social epidemiology (pp. 13–55). New York: Oxford University Press]. This research investigates the relationship between class and race and perceived health status among patients with chronic conditions. More specifically, we apply the concept of social capital to assess whether the quantity of health information seeking behaviors (HISB) via social networks mediates the relationship between race and health status, and between SES and health status. Regression, t-test and ANOVA analyses of 305 surveys completed at a chronic illness management clinic in a Northwest research hospital reveal three important findings: first, that social class affects perceived health status more strongly than race; second, that frequency and amount of HISB do not play a significant role in perceived health status, regardless of race or SES; and third, that an interaction effect between frequency and amount of HISB suggests that the way that patients seek health information, and the quality of that information, may be more useful indicators of the role of social capital in HISB than our study can provide.
Estela Vasquez Guzman, C., Mireles, G., Christopherson, N. and Janning, M. (2010), "Class and race health disparities and health information seeking behaviors: The role of social capital", Jacobs Kronenfeld, J. (Ed.) The Impact of Demographics on Health and Health Care: Race, Ethnicity and Other Social Factors (Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 127-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0275-4959(2010)0000028008Download as .RIS
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