University of Pittsburgh

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PhD Candidate Nichole Bayliss will defend her disseration,

WHERE YOU LIVE DOES MATTER: THE IMPACT OF RACIAL RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION ON RACIAL DISPARITIES IN CANCER INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY IN NORTHEASTERN AND SOUTHERN U.S. COUNTIES, 2005-2009

Tuesday, December 9th

2:30pm

Sociology Conference Room- 2431 WW Posvar Hall

 

Abstract:
This study merged the frameworks of social epidemiology, human ecology, and Critical Race Theory to examine the impact of racial residential segregation on racial disparities in cancer incidence/mortality and characteristics of the social and physical environment. County-level data on cancer incidence, cancer mortality, racial residential segregation, and other characteristics of the social and physical environment were collected from nine publically-available sources. Regression models were constructed to identify predictors of the racial disparity in cancer incidence and cancer mortality. Racial residential segregation was not found to be a significant predictor of the racial gap in cancer incidence or the racial gap in cancer mortality after controlling for the racial gap in median household income. Racial disparity in median household income was found to be the most significant predictor of both the racial gap in cancer incidence and the racial gap in cancer mortality. Although a significant relationship between racial residential segregation and the racial gap in cancer incidence and cancer mortality was not found, highly segregated areas do face certain forms of disadvantage in several health-protecting resources—housing, exposure to environmental pollutants, educational attainment, and economic opportunities.
In order for interventions and policies to be effective in reducing racial disparities in health outcomes, the structural (i.e., foundational and fundamental) causes of these inequalities—institutional racism, racial residential segregation, economic/educational inequalities—must be addressed. In addition, the methods used to "protect confidentiality" and "maintain data reliability" of publically available data sources need to be examined through the lens of Critical Race Theory to determine whether these methods are simply supporting the racialized structure and protecting the status quo.