218923 Embodying and weathering a (mis)education: Youth participatory action research for schooling as a social determinant of health

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jessica Ruglis, PhD, MPH, MAT , Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Based on research and findings from a mixed method, youth participatory action research (PAR) project, this paper introduces schooling is a social determinant of health. This paper describes the process and findings of the youth PAR collective “ProjectDISH (Disparities in Schooling and Health)” formed for this study. ProjectDISH youth researchers (ages 14-19) created the research questions, design and protocols (mapping, focus groups, and survey); conducted data collection and analysis; and presented at academic conferences. The purpose of our research was to investigate and document the ways in which schooling (as distinguished from education) affects health, and how racialized urban educational inequities and graduation rates contribute to health disparities. Research presented in this paper documents the health effects of educational asymmetries and opportunities to learn and introduces suggestions for educational improvement as health reform. This research explores how and why education (of all three components of SES) is the most significant predictor of lifetime health. It does so by taking an important methodological and conceptual stance to distinguish the schooling from education. Schooling is a process and a context that influences health in much the same way as other widely documented social determinants of health (many of which equally operate through schools), while education is an outcome and proxy that independently confers health benefits through social and causal pathways it affords. This paper spans conceptual and analytic frameworks from multiple disciplines.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Differentiate between traditional and participatory (i.e. participatory action research, youth participatory action research, community based participatory research) approaches to research. 2. Formulate ideas about implications (research, education, policy) for conceiving of schooling as a social determinant of health (as distinguished from education). 3. Discuss, based on the research findings presented, what about schools young people identify as affecting health (physical, mental, social-emotional, sexual, reproductive, etc.) and healthy development.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Participatory Action Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have earned terminal degrees in relevant fields (PhD in Urban Education, MPH in Community Health Education) and currently conduct related postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
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.