Neighborhood Segregation

997 Words4 Pages
Racial health inequities continue to exist and even increase in the United States, particularly among Whites and Blacks (Williams et al., 2010). While research tends to focus on the genetic determinants of racial health inequities, it fails to consider how various structural determinants impact the health of these groups. Examining how such determinants can impact health outcomes can offer an improved understanding of racial health inequities — structural racism and segregation are the best structural explanations to understanding racial health inequities. Structural Racism Structural racism is thought of as a class stressor that could have consequences for understanding racial health inequities. Individuals who report experiencing racism demonstrate…show more content…
Many people believe that segregation has been around for forever, but it is actually a phenomenon of the 20th century (Denton, 1996). Loan lending discrimination for housing is still practiced in our society, even though it is illegal, causing increases in neighborhood segregation. For example, when White neighborhoods reach a “trigger point” for Blacks moving into the neighborhood, they move out, which subsequently perpetuates continued segregation. A study conducted in 2000 found racial residential segregation to be attributable to approximately 176,000 deaths (Galea et al., 2011). Neighborhood segregation increases the amount of minorities that live in neighborhoods that limit socioeconomic mobility by limiting access to high quality education and higher education preparation (Williams et al., 2010); neighborhood segregation also makes it more difficult for residents to adhere to healthy behaviors due to the higher costs and lower quality of healthy foods, increased advertising for tobacco and alcohol, and lack of environmental structures for physical activity (Williams et al, 2010). Neighborhood segregation can potentially impact the development of social networks, which in turn may influence employment opportunities and quality of health (Gee, Walsemann, & Brondolo, 2012; Brondolo et al., 2012; Amuedo-Dorantes & Mundra, 2007; Wagmiller,…show more content…
Black adolescents who attend predominantly White schools have been shown to have poorer mental and physical health (Walsemann, Bell, & Maitra, 2011). Johnson and Hoffman (2000) reported Black adolescents attending a predominantly minority school were less likely to engage in daily smoking. Youths attending racially isolated high schools were found to be more likely to work in racially isolated places of work as adults (Gee, Walsemann, & Brondolo, 2012; Stearns, 2010). Segregated schools have poorer quality of education and educational attainment (i.e., limited access to higher education preparation); individuals who took a college preparation course in high school demonstrated fewer depressive symptoms in adulthood, even after adjusting for educational attainment (Walsemann, Gee, & Geronimus, 2009). Ultimately, poorer quality of education due to school segregation can lead to poorer health conditions and inequities, in both childhood and adulthood, among different racial
Open Document