Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities

Social Determinants Of Health And Health DisparitiesSocial determinants of health are the social, political, economic and cultural conditions that structure health. These conditions shape the circumstances in which people live and work and perpetuate health inequalities.  Research in this area focuses on addressing root causes of poor health to advance health equity.

Related Faculty

Dr. Ashenafi S Cherkos
Dr. Gregory Knell
Dr. Uyen-Sa Nguyen
Dr. Malinee Neelamegam
Dr. Teresa Wagner
Dr. Erika Thompson

Faculty Publications:

  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2023). Navigating Infodemics and Building Trust During Public Health Emergencies: Proceedings of a Workshop in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Wagner, T. Contributor (p. 7, 11-12) & Reviewer (p. 15).
    Interactive Webpage:
  • Wagner, T., Ramirez, C., & Godoy, B. (2021). Covid-19 Rural Health Inequities: Insights from a Real-World Scenario. Journal of Communication in Healthcare.
  • Howe, C.J., Adame, T., Lewis, B., & Wagner, T. (2020). Assessing Organizational Focus on Health Literacy in Hospitals in North Texas. American Journal of Nursing, 120(12), 24-33.
  • Taylor WC, Durand CP, Knell G. Disparity indices and overweight: frame of reference. Health Equity. 2019;3(1):612-618. doi: 10.1089/heq.2019.0064. eCollection 2019. PubMed PMID: 31872166; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6918515.
  • Knell G, Brown HS, Gabriel KP, Durand CP, Shuval K, Salvo D, Kohl III HW. Cost-effectiveness of improvements to the built environment intended to increase physical activity. J Phys Act Health. 2019 May 1;16(5):308-317. doi: 10.1123/jpah.2018-0329. Epub 2019 Apr 13. PubMed PMID: 30982380; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6543547.
  • Ahmad, A., Neelamegam, M., & Rajasuriar, R. (2020). Ageing with HIV: health implications and evolving care needs. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 23(9).
  • Estapé, T., Carrion, I. V., Estapé, J., & Neelamegam, M. (2020). Exploring the knowledge and attitudes about cancer of older adults in Barcelona, Spain. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology Research and Practice, 2(1), e16.
  • Kline, N., Webb, N. J., Thompson, E. L., Griner, S. B., & Schrimshaw, E. W. (2022). Latinx COVID-19 Disparities and Work As a Social Determinant of Health: A Research and Policy Agenda. Population Health Management25(2), 284-287. DOI:
  • Maness, S.B., Merrell, L.K., Thompson, E.L, Griner, S.B., Kline, N.S. & Wheldon C.W. (2021). Social determinants and health disparities: Commentary on influence of COVID-19 exposures and mortality among African Americans in the United States. Public Health Reports, 136(1):18-22. doi: 10.1177/0033354920969169.
  • Seguin-Fowler, R.A., Amos, C., Beech, B.M., Ferrer, R.L., McNeill, L., Opusunju, J.J., Spence, E.E., Thompson, E.L., Torres-Hostos, L.R., Vishwanatha, J.K., and Texas CEAL Consortium Members. (2022). The Texas Community Engagement Research Alliance Against COVID-19 in disproportionately affected communities (TX CEAL) Consortium. Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1017/cts.2022.395.
  • Thompson, E.L., Rosen, B.L. & Maness, S.B., (2019). Social determinants of health and human papillomavirus vaccination among young adults, National Health Interview Survey 2016. Journal of Community Health, 44(1):149-158. PMID: 30120681.
  • Gonzalez A, Nguyen US, Franklin P, Barea C, Hannouche D, Lübbeke A. 1-year trajectories of patients undergoing primary total hip arthroplasty: Patient reported outcomes and resource needs according to education level. BMC Musculoskelet Disord23, 84 (2022). org/10.1186/s12891-022-05004-6.
  • Bhuiyan MTH, Khan IM, Jony SSR, Robinson R, Nguyen USDT, Keellings DJ, Rahman MS, Haque U. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among undocumented immigrants and ethnic minorities in the US. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2021; 18(23). doi:10.3390/ijerph182312708.