Advertisement

Social Epidemiology

  • Peijia ZhaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Social epidemiology is a study that explores the social factors or social phenomena that impact population health. It incorporates the concepts and methods of population health. This chapter focuses on social epidemiology as a research method in the context of population health. The significant role of social epidemiology in examining the influence of social determinants on the health of individuals and groups is emphasized. Concepts, theories, and methods of social epidemiological research are explored to explicate the influence of complex social factors on the health of populations. The implications for research and translation of evidence of social epidemiology into practice, curriculum, and policy development are discussed.

Keywords

Social epidemiology Social determinants Health Methods Inequality 

References

  1. 1.
    Porta M, editor. A dictionary of epidemiology. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2014.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Charlton BG. The scope and nature of epidemiology. J Clin Epidemiol. 1996;49(6):623–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Charlton BG. Management of science. Lancet. 1993;342(8863):99–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kaufman JS. Social epidemiology. In: Rothman KJ, Greenland S, Lash TL, editors. Modern epidemiology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008. p. 532–48.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berkman LF, Kawachi I. A historical framework for social epidemiology: social determines of population health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Glymour MM, editors. Social epidemiology. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2014. p. 1–16.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaufman JS, Cooper RS. Seeking causal explanations in social epidemiology. Am J Epidemiol. 1999;150(2):113–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Krieger N, Rowley DL, Herman AA, Avery B. Racism, sexism, and social class: implications for studies of health, disease, and well-being. Am J Prev Med. 1993;9(6 Suppl):82–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kaufman JS, Kaufman S, Poole C. Causal inference from randomized trials in social epidemiology. Soc Sci Med. 2003;57(12):2397–409.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Shy CM. The failure of academic epidemiology: witness for the prosecution. Am J Epidemiol. 1997;145(6):479–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hill AB. The environment and disease: association or causation? J R Soc Med. 2015;108(1):32–7.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Krieger N, Smith GD. Re:“Seeking causal explanations in social epidemiology”. Am J Epidemiol. 2000;151(8):831–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Link BG, Phelan J. Social conditions as fundamental causes of disease. J Health Soc Behav. 1995;1:80–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Blakely T, Woodward A. Counterfactual challenges to social epidemiology. Aust Epidemiol. 2000;7(3):28.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Koopman JS, Longini IM Jr. The ecological effects of individual exposures and nonlinear disease dynamics in populations. Am J Public Health. 1994;84(5):836–42.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Diez Roux AV. The study of group-level factors in epidemiology: rethinking variables, study designs, and analytical approaches. Epidemiol Rev. 2004;26(1):104–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Burris S, Kawachi I, Sarat A. Integrating law and social epidemiology. J Law Med Ethics. 2002;30(4):510–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kaplan GA. What’s wrong with social epidemiology, and how can we make it better? Epidemiol Rev. 2004;26(1):124–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Know the facts about stroke, 2014 [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2014. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm. Accessed on 10 Jul 2014.
  19. 19.
    Statistical fact sheet, African Americans & cardiovascular diseases, 2013 [Internet]. Dallas (TX): American heart association; 2014. Available from: http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heartpublic/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319568.pdf. Accessed on 25 Jul 2014.
  20. 20.
    Prout NM, Theodore C, Robert AS. Cancer epidemiology and health policy. In: Levine S, Lilienfeld A, editors. Epidemiology and health policy. New York, NY: Tanvistock; 1987. p. 117–56.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Incidence rates by race/ethnicity and sex, 2014 [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for disease control and prevention; 2017. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/race.htm. Accessed on 12 Oct 2017.
  22. 22.
    Krieger N. A glossary for social epidemiology. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2001;55(10):693–700.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Perry B. Where is the gender in behaviour genetics? The need for social epidemiology in research on gene-environment interactions. OA Genet. 2013;1(1):8. Available from: http://www.oapublishinglondon.com/article/927. Accessed on 10 Dec 2014.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bellows-Riecken KH, Rhodes RE. A birth of inactivity? A review of physical activity and parenthood. Prev Med. 2008;46(2):99–110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bird CE. Gender, household labor, and psychological distress: the impact of the amount and division of housework. J Health Soc Behav. 1999;40:32–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Bird CE, Rieker PP. Gender and health: the effects of constrained choices and social policies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kessler RC, McGonagle KA, Zhao S, Nelson CB, Hughes M, Eshleman S, et al. Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1994;51(1):8–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Dorak MT, Karpuzoglu E. Gender differences in cancer susceptibility: an inadequately addressed issue. Front Genet. 2012;3:268. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508426/. Accessed on 10 Dec 2014.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Koutek J, Kocourkova J, Dudova I. Suicidal behavior and self-harm in girls with eating disorders. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2016;12:787–93.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Parker G, Roy K. Adolescent depression: a review. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2001;35(5):572–80.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kasl SV, Jones BA. The impact of job loss and retirement on health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Glymour MM, editors. Social epidemiology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2000. p. 118–36.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Diez Roux AV. Investigating neighborhood and area effects on health. Am J Public Health. 2001;91(11):1783–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Smith GD, Shipley MJ, Rose G. Magnitude and causes of socioeconomic differentials in mortality: further evidence from the Whitehall Study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1990;44(4):265–70.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Honjo K. Social epidemiology: definition, history, and research examples. Environ Health Prevent Med. 2004;9(5):193–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Brenner HM. Political economy and health. In: Amick III BC, Levine S, Tarlov AR, Walsh DC, editors. Society and health. New York, NY: Oxford university press; 1995. p. 211–46.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Schiller JS, Lucas JW, Peregoy JA. Summary health statistics for US adults: national health interview survey; 2011.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kubzansky LD, Winning A, Kawachi I. Affective states and health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Glymour MM, editors. Social epidemiology. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2014. p. 320–64.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Elliott I. Poverty and mental health: a review to inform the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Anti-Poverty Strategy. London: Mental Health Foundation; 2016.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kaplan GA, Pamuk ER, Lynch JW, Cohen RD, Balfour JL. Inequality in income and mortality in the United States: analysis of mortality and potential pathways. BMJ. 1996;312(7037):999–1003.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Lochner K, Prothrow-Stith D. Social capital, income inequality, and mortality. Am J Public Health. 1997;87(9):1491–8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Kawachi I, Kennedy BP, Glass R. Social capital and self-rated health: a contextual analysis. Am J Public Health. 1999;89(8):1187–93.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kawachi I, Levine S, Miller SM, Lasch K, Amick BI. Income inequality and life expectancy: theory research and policy. Boston, MA: The Health Institute, New England Medical Center; 1994. Society and Health Working Paper Series No. 94-2.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Jary D, Jary J. Collins dictionary of sociology. 4th ed. New York, NY: HarperCollins; 2005.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Krieger N. Commentary: society, biology and the logic of social epidemiology. Int J Epidemiol. 2001;30(1):44–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Smedley BD. The lived experience of race and its health consequences. Am J Public Health. 2012;102(5):933–5.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Krieger N, Waterman PD, Kosheleva A, Chen JT, Smith KW, Carney DR, et al. Racial discrimination & cardiovascular disease risk: my body my story study of 1005 US-born black and white community health center participants (US). PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e77174.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Krieger N, Smith K, Naishadham D, Hartman C, Barbeau EM. Experiences of discrimination: validity and reliability of a self-report measure for population health research on racism and health. Soc Sci Med. 2005;61(7):1576–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Williams DR, Yu Y, Jackson JS, Anderson NB. Racial differences in physical and mental health: socio-economic status, stress and discrimination. J Health Psychol. 1997;2(3):335–51.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    De Maio F, Mazzeo J, Ritchie D. Social determinants of health: a view on theory and measurement. RI Med J. 2013;96(7):15–9.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Krieger N. Methods for the scientific study of discrimination and health: an ecosocial approach. Am J Public Health. 2012;102(5):936–44.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Bourdieu P, Wacquant JL. An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press; 1992.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Sabatini F. Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement. University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics [Internet]; 2005. Available from:  https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.755065. Accessed on 15 Dec 2014.
  53. 53.
    Kawachi I, Takao S, Subramanian SV. Global perspective on social capital and health. New York, NY: Springer; 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Abbott S. Social capital and health: the role of participation. Soc Theory Health. 2010;8(1):51–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Berkman LF. The role of social relations in health promotion. Psychosom Med. 1995;57(3):245–54.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Berkman LF, Glass T. Social integration, social networks, social support, and health. In: Berkman LF, Kawachi I, Glymour MM, editors. Social epidemiology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2000. p. 137–73.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Reardon SF. A conceptual framework for measuring segregation and its association with population outcomes. In: Oakes JM, Kaufman JS, editors. Methods in social epidemiology. 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2006. p. 132–57.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Massey SD, Denton AN. American apartheid: segregation and the making of the underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1998.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Williams Krieger N. Theories for social epidemiology in the 21st century: an ecosocial perspective. Int J Epidemiol. 2001;30(4):668–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    House JS. Understanding social factors and inequalities in health: 20th century progress and 21st century prospects. J Health Soc Behav. 2002;43:125–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Navarro V. Crisis, health, and medicine: a social critique. New York, NY: Tavistock; 1986.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Townsend P. Why are the many poor? Int J Health Serv. 1986;16(1):1–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Wilkinson RG. Unhealthy societies: the afflictions of inequality. London, UK: Routledge; 1996.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Kim JY, Millen VJ, Irwin A, Gershman J. Dying for growth: global inequality and the health of the poor. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press; 2000.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Williams DR. Race, socioeconomic status, and health the added effects of racism and discrimination. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;896(1):173–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Ruzek BS, Olesen LV, Clarke EA. Women’s health: complexities and differences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press; 1997.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Szreter S. Economic growth, disruption, deprivation, disease, and death: on the importance of the politics of public health for development. Popul Dev Rev. 1997;23(4):693–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Link BG, Phelan JC. McKeown and the idea that social conditions are fundamental causes of disease. Am J Public Health. 2002;92(5):730–2.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Kitagawa E, Hauser P. Differential mortality in the United States: a study in socio-economic epidemiology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Fleischer NL, Weber AM, Gruber S, Arambula KZ, Mascarenhas M, Frasure JA, et al. Pathways to health: a framework for health-focused research and practice. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 2006;3(1):18.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Susser M, Susser E. Choosing a future for epidemiology: I. Eras and paradigms. Am J Public Health. 1996;86(5):668–73.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    McMichael AJ. Prisoners of the proximate: loosening the constraints on epidemiology in an age of change. Am J Epidemiol. 1999;149(10):887–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Macintyre S, Maciver S, Sooman A. Area, class and health: should we be focusing on places or people? J Soc Policy. 1993;22(2):213–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Rose G. The strategy of preventive medicine. Oxford: University Press; 1992.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Ben-Shlomo Y, Kuh D. A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology: conceptual models, empirical challenges and interdisciplinary. Perspectives. 2002;2(1):285–93.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Power C, Hertzman C. Social and biological pathways linking early life and adult disease. Br Med Bull. 1997;53(1):210–21.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Ross CE, Wu CL. The links between education and health. Am Sociol Rev. 1995;60:719–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Cable N. Life course approach in social epidemiology: an overview, application and future implications. J Epidemiol. 2014;24(5):347–52.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  79. 79.
    Chandola T, Kumari M, Marmot M. Social epidemiology. In: Ahrens W, Pigeot I, editors. Handbook of epidemiology. New York, NY: Springer; 2014. p. 1551–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Diez-Roux AV. Multilevel analysis in public health research. Annu Rev Public Health. 2000;21(1):171–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Merlo J, Chaix B, Yang M, Lynch J, Råstam L. A brief conceptual tutorial on multilevel analysis in social epidemiology: interpreting neighbourhood differences and the effect of neighbourhood characteristics on individual health. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2005;59(12):1022–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Zeni MB, Kogan MD. Existing population-based health databases: useful resources for nursing research. Nurs Outlook. 2007;55(1):20–30.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Zeni MB. Legislative: population-based health datasets-Part I: An overview advocating evidence-based health policy. Online J Issues Nurs. 2011;16(3)Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    HIV incidence, 2012 [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for disease control and prevention; 2014. Available from: from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/surveillance/incidence/index.html. Accessed on 2 Nov 2014.
  85. 85.
    Yang TC, Shoff C, Noah AJ. Spatializing health research: what we know and where we are heading. Geospat Health. 2013;7(2):161–8.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Musa GJ, Chiang PH, Sylk T, Bavley R, Keating W, Lakew B, et al. Use of GIS mapping as a public health tool—from cholera to cancer. Health Serv Insights. 2013;6:111–6.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Cormley E, McLafferty SGIS. Public health. 2nd ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press; 2012.Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Sampson RJ, Morenoff JD, Earls F. Beyond social capital: spatial dynamics collective efficacy for children. Am Sociol Rev. 1999;64(5):633–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Bindu MB, Janak PJ. GIS in epidemiology: applications and services. Natl J Commun Med. 2012;3(2):259–63.Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Comer KF, Grannis S, Dixon BE, Bodenhamer DJ, Wiehe SE. Incorporating geospatial capacity within clinical data systems to address social determinants of health. Public Health Rep. 2011;126(3 Suppl):54–61.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Fede AL, Stewart JE, Hardin JW, Mayfield-Smith K, Sudduth D. Spatial visualization of multivariate datasets: an analysis of STD and HIV/AIDS diagnosis rates and socioeconomic context using ring maps. Public Health Rep. 2011;126(3 Suppl):115–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Wang X, Auchincloss AH, Barber S, Mayne SL, Griswold ME, Sims M, Roux AV. Neighborhood social environment as risk factors to health behavior among African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study. Health Place. 2017;45:199–207.Google Scholar
  93. 93.
    Mulhall A. Epidemiology, nursing, and healthcare: a new perspective. London: Palgrave Macmilan; 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. 94.
    Macintyre S. What are spatial effects and how can we measure them? In: Dale A, editor. Exploiting national survey data: the role of locality and spatial effects. Manchester: Faculty of Economic and Social Studies University of Manchester; 1997. p. 1–17.Google Scholar
  95. 95.
    Krieger N. Proximal, distal, and the politics of causation: what’s level got to do with it? Am J Public Health. 2008;98(2):221–30.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. 96.
    West C, Graham L, Palmer RT, Miller MF, Thayer EK, Stuber ML, et al. Implementation of interprofessional education (IPE) in 16 US medical schools: common practices, barriers and facilitators. J Interprof Educ Pract. 2016;4:41–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. 97.
    Zimmerman E, Woolf SH, Haley A, editors. Understanding the relationship between education and health: a review of the evidence and an examination of community perspectives [Internet]. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2015. Available from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/education/curriculum-tools/population-health/zimmerman.html. Accessed on 15 Oct 2017.Google Scholar
  98. 98.
    Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinates of health [Internet]. Geneva: World health organization; 2012. Available from: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241563703_eng.pdf?ua=1. Accessed on 10 Jul 2014.
  99. 99.
    Chan M. Ebola virus disease in West Africa—no early end to the outbreak. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(13):1183–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. 100.
    Lamunu M, Olu OO, Bangura J, Yoti Z, Samba TT, Kargbo DK, et al. Epidemiology of ebola Virus Disease in the Western area region of sierra leone, 2014–2015. Front Public Health. 2017;5(33):1–5.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. 101.
    Barata RB. Epidemiology and public policies. Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2013;16(1):3–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Nursing Science, School of NursingRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations