207610 Mapping the Social Environment for Transdisciplinary and Systems Oriented Social Science Research

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yonette Thomas, PhD , Division of Epidemiology, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD
M. Christopher Gibbons, MD, MPH , Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Health and disease represent a continuum that exists within complex social, behavioral, environmental, physiologic and molecular systems. As such, elucidating the fundamental or basic components of health determinants existing within each system is critical for comprehensively understanding relationships between determinants both within and across systems. It also forms the basis of evidence based risk calculation and communication, prognostication, prevention and treatment at both the individual and population levels. To date, social sciences are largely unable to link specific social constructs to specific health outcomes. This may be due to the fact that currently our most fundamental understanding of the social environment resides at a level that is too obtuse to enable the explication of these types of complex relationships. This presentation will discuss development of a “basic” or “fundamental” map of measures of the social environment and how such linking when paired with systems science and transdicisplinary approaches could spur novel research questions and breakthroughs in social science research generally, and in health disparities research specifically.

Learning Objectives:
1) Discuss the need to link social envionment constructs to specific health ourcomes 2)Discuss the impact on Public Health research of linking social constructs to specific health outcomes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have considerable publication, research and professional expertice in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.