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The Effects of Income Inequality on Her Health and Ability to Be an Active Participant in Her Care

According to Mokdad et al. (2015), health is closely related to wealth, and a person who is economically disadvantaged and from a minority group is likely to experience the worst health status. Health is related to the qualitative and quantitative aspects of social and material change that take place in one’s life. The overall welfare and health of a person are most often impacted by a social environment. Such a social environment is one that is less productive of social antagonism, less undermining of self-confidence, and less divisive, yet more supportive of the development of abilities and skills. The relationship between a person’s health and their income goes beyond poverty. Studies show that an elevated permanent income indicates a strong effect of protection on mortality over time.

Additionally, it has been argued that conditions in early life, such as the fetal environment, are related to a child’s later life as well as a child’s risks of disease. Social stress and the consequences it has on mental health have an effect on a child. Social stress also impacts a child through lifetime traumas, enduring conditions, and chronic conditions (Lewis et al., 2015).

Lastly, the hypothesis on income inequality asserts that there is a direct effect on health at the income inequality aggregate level. This may be because of psychosocial processes that are founded on a person’s perceptions of their social hierarchy placement. It is argued that such perceptions result in negative emotions such as distrust and shame, which are physiologically and directly translated to poor health. This takes place via psychoneuroendocrine mechanisms or indirectly through behaviors that are stress-induced such as smoking. At the same time, perceptions that one has of their social hierarchy placement as well as the negative emotions that these perceptions foster, are reflected in the person’s behavior (antisocial) and in such a person’s reduced participation in civic duties. In this way, the perception one has of their social rank has a negative consequence in their biology and also negative health and social consequences that result from how people interact with others (Hawkley & Capitanio, 2015).


Hawkley, L. C., & Capitanio, J. P. (2015). Perceived social isolation, evolutionary fitness and health outcomes: a lifespan approach. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences370(1669), 20140114.

Lewis, A. J., Austin, E., Knapp, R., Vaiano, T., & Galbally, M. (2015, December). Perinatal maternal mental health, fetal programming and child development. In Healthcare (Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 1212-1227). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.

Mokdad, A. H., Gagnier, M. C., Colson, K. E., Zúñiga-Brenes, P., Ríos-Zertuche, D., Haakenstad, A., … & Murphy, T. (2015). Health and wealth in Mesoamerica: findings from Salud Mesomérica 2015. BMC medicine13(1), 164.


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Discussion Topic 4 (Discrimination)

***The initial discussion response should be in the range of 250-300 words. All questions in the topic must be addressed. All discussions need to be supported by a minimum of two scholarly resource. Journals and websites must be cited appropriately (Citation and reference must adhere to APA format). All components of the question, demonstrate critical thinking and analysis, and include peer reviewed journal evidence to support the student’s position.
Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.



Case Study:

Martha Miller is a 32-year-old, African American single mother living in a midsize city. She has three children from previous relationships. Her partner is Mick, a 38-year-old White man who lives with her, and who is unemployed. Although he is actively looking for a job, he has not worked in more than a year. Her oldest child is 8 years of age, she has a 4-year-old, and her youngest is 17 months. She works as a hotel housekeeper from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and at a fast-food restaurant from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. She has limited time home with her children, only seeing them briefly after her first job, and then again in the morning before work. Her partner helps with the cooking and childcare. She is overweight with a body mass index of 32, has mild hypertension, and had a second A1c level of 6.4 for which you prescribed Metformin 500 mg twice a day during her last clinic visit 6 months ago. At that visit, she saw a dietitian for dietary counseling, and you spoke with her about developing a plan to get 150 minutes of exercise weekly.
She has not been back to see you despite repeated calls to her cell phone, a number that changes about every 8 to 10 months. She finally came into clinic last week, and you have determined that she is 20 weeks pregnant. You are concerned about the effectiveness of her medication, her very stressful life, and lack of follow-up as problems that can affect her health and that of her baby.
Select one of the options below and discuss the ways in which this condition/social problem might increase her health risks?
1. The effects of income inequality on her health and ability to be an active participant in her care.
2. Racial discrimination she may experience related to her romantic relationship.
3. Health disparities she may experience related to her pregnancy, such as the risk for preterm labor and the high rate of infant mortality in low-income women.
Responses need to address all components of the question, demonstrate critical thinking and analysis, and include peer reviewed journal evidence to support the student’s position.
Please be sure to validate your opinions and ideas with citations and references in APA format.

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