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Summary

Despite generally good health in the U.S. compared with less-developed countries, America is still facing challenging issues such as a prevalence of obesity and diabetes. Moreover, Americans of historically disadvantaged racial groups, ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and gender experience lower levels of health care. Mental health and disability are health issues that are significantly impacted by social norms.

Short answer

What factors contribute to the disparities in health among racial, ethnic, and gender groups in the United States?

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Do you know anyone with a mental disorder? How does it affect his or her life?

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Further research

Is ADHD a valid diagnosis and disease? Some think it is not. This article discusses this history of the issue: (External Link)

References

Agency for Health Research and Quality. 2010. “Disparities in Healthcare Quality Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups.” Agency for Health Research and Quality. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) )

American Psychological Association. 2011a. “A 09 Autism Spectrum Disorder.” American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Development. Retrieved December 14, 2011.

American Psychological Association. 2011b. “Personality Traits.” American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Development. Retrieved December 14, 2011.

American Psychological Association. N.d. “Understanding the Ritalin Debate.” American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) )

Becker, Dana. N.d. “Borderline Personality Disorder: The Disparagement of Women through Diagnosis.” Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link)&view=article&id=109&catid=74&Itemid=126 ).

Berkman, Lisa F. 2009. “Social Epidemiology: Social Determinants of Health in the United States: Are We Losing Ground?” Annual Review of Public Health 30:27–40.

Fox, B. and D. Worts. 1999. “Revisiting the Critique of Medicalized Childbirth: A Contribution to the Sociology of Birth.” Gender and Society 13(3):326–346.

Gellene, Denise. 2009. “Sleeping Pill Use Grows as Economy Keeps People up at Night.” Retrieved December 16, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Hines, Susan M. and Kevin J. Thompson. 2007. “Fat Stigmatization in Television Shows and Movies: A Content Analysis.” Obesity 15:712–718. Retrieved December 15, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Institute of Medicine. 2006. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem . Washington DC: National Academies Press.

Jacobs, Gregg D., Edward F. Pace-Schott, Robert Stickgold, and Michael W. Otto. 2004. “Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Pharmacotherapy for Insomnia: A Randomized Controlled Trial and Direct Comparison.” Archives of Internal Medicine 164(17):1888–1896. Retrieved December 16, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

James, Cara et al. 2007. “Key Facts: Race, Ethnicity&Medical Care.” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Moloney, Mairead Eastin, Thomas R. Konrad, and Catherine R. Zimmer. 2011. “The Medicalization of Sleeplessness: A Public Health Concern.” American Journal of Public Health 101:1429–1433.

National Institute of Mental Health. 2005. “National Institute of Mental Health Statistics.” Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

National Institutes of Health. 2011a. “Insomnia.” The National Institute of Health. Retrieved December 16, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

National Institutes of Health. 2011b. “What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?” National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Phelan, Jo C. and Bruce G. Link. 2001. “Conceptualizing Stigma” Annual Review of Sociology 27:363–85 . Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Phelan, Jo C. and Bruce G. Link. 2003. “When Income Affects Outcome: Socioeconomic Status and Health.” Research in Profile :6. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Puhl, Rebecca M. and Chelsea A. Heuer. 2009. “The Stigma of Obesity: A Review and Update.” Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved December 15, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Ranji, Usha and Alina Salganico. 2011. “Women's Health Care Chartbook: Key Findings from the Kaiser Women's Health Survey.” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) =).

Scheff, Thomas. 1963. Being Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory . Chicago, IL: Aldine.

Szasz, Thomas. 1961. The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct . New York, NY: Harper Collins.

U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. “Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012.” 131st ed. Washington, DC. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2011. “Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics News Release.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Winkleby, Marilyn A., D. E. Jatulis, E. Frank, and S. P. Fortmann. 1992. “Socioeconomic Status and Health: How Education, Income, and Occupation Contribute to Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease.” American Journal of Public Health 82:6.

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 12, 2012 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11407/1.7
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