Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Ryan Masters

Second Advisor

Matthew Brown

Third Advisor

Carol Conzelman

Abstract

Type I Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic illness that affects children nationwide. Chronic diseases like diabetes can affect well-being as well as physical health. The primary focus of this paper is to examine how social determinants of health such as education and income are associated with children’s overall health, and how this association is affected by childhood diabetes. I used the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), representative national-level data, to analyze this association. A series of cross-tabulations and three-way associations were conducted to test for the significant influences of diabetes on socioeconomic status and health. While diabetes suppressed the relationship between socioeconomic status and health, overall a strong association was found between social determinants and health in the sample. These important findings contribute to our understanding of how key social determinants of health such as socioeconomic status can be shaped by childhood chronic conditions such as diabetes.