African American Health

Authored by: Christopher L. Edwards , John Sollers , Janice Collins-McNeil , Jessica Miller , Brianna Jones , Camela S. Barker , Lisa Pratt , Dana Jones , Goldie Byrd , Kenyon Railey , Keith Whitfield

Handbook of Health Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138052819
eBook ISBN: 9781315167534
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315167534-24

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Abstract

“African American Health,” a notion towards individualized conceptualizations of health, wellness, and pathology, and away from “one size fits all” models of research and clinical practice are increasingly popular with functional utilities in medicine and the social sciences. In too many instances of poor health, African Americans bear a disproportional burden of disease, and in the case of cardiovascular diseases, migraines, sickle cell disease, and dementia, rates of morbidity, poor quality of life, and death are higher than compared to other equivalent populations. This chapter provides an overview of sociocontextual factors influencing African American Health using specific diseases as examples. We discuss the importance of representative subject ascertainment for research studies as a mechanism to reduce health disparities and promote quality of life for African Americans. In addition, this chapter aims to expand the literature on factors impacting African American health and to enhance the conceptualization of health and pathology for all populations.

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