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Economics as it Relates to Family Health

  • By: Roberta Riportella & Maximilian D. Schmeiser
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

The interplay between health, economics, and families is complex. A solid knowledge of that interplay is critical for policymakers and practitioners alike. This entry defines the specific impact of socioeconomic status (SES)-as measured by income, education, and occupation-on health outcomes. All human beings are at risk of poor health outcomes, and indeed, all of us eventually die. However, the pace of death, the illnesses individuals have along the way, and the causes of deaths all vary depending on where one is on the SES scale. Individuals from poorer families experience higher infant mortality, more chronic conditions, and lower life expectations. That is, health varies considerably based on SES regardless of how it is measured. The reasons for this phenomenon are complex.

This entry discusses both the ...

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