Marginalized Populations & Social Determinants of Health
Social determinants of health include individual and contextual factors regarding one’s place in society that influence the health of both individuals and populations. They include determinants that represent social status or position, such as gender, ethnoracial background, immigration history, and disability, as well as determinants that represent access to income and other resources such as employment and housing. In a context of inequality related to individual and structural discrimination, social marginalization, and colonialism, some groups experience exclusion from full and meaningful participation in public life and access to the resources needed to maintain health. At Western University, we study social and economic marginalization and health inequalities between and within populations locally, nationally, and globally, in order to guide improvements in equity for health or health services. We also develop, adapt, and apply methods to better study both specific social determinants and the processes that generate inequity. Areas of research interest for group members include the health of populations that experience marginalization, including immigrants and refugees, sexual and gender minorities, Indigenous peoples, people living in poverty, and those living with mental illnesses, chronic diseases, or disabilities. In conjunction with our academic and community partners, we study a wide range of outcomes, such as access to medical and mental health services, gambling behaviour, substance use, preterm birth, cardiovascular health, and mental health and well-being.
To enhance our understanding on the role of social determinants of health and the processes underlying health inequalities in the general population and among subgroups experiencing marginalization.
- Studying social marginalization and health inequalities between and within populations, in order to guide improvements in equity for health or health services.
- Supporting the development and application of epidemiological and biostatistical methods to health and social equity problems.
- Building networks for collaboration and knowledge translation across academic, government and community sectors.