Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Understanding Children's Health Disparities
The health status of children in the United States varies widely, depending on a number of social and biologic factors. The principal sources of disparities in the health status of children in the United States are not biologic, however, but are social and economic. The socioeconomic status of the family into which a child is born has a profound impact throughout childhood and into adulthood. This course will explore social and economic factors as they affect children and their health status. We will look at lack of health insurance as a major factor impacting children's health. We will also explore ethnic, cultural, and behavioral factors that affect children's health, directly and indirectly. A key factor we will explore is the impact of a child’s early life experiences on their subsequent educational attainment. Finally, we will look at the proposals for health care reform coming out of Washington, D.C., asking specifically how they will impact existing health disparities among children.