Recipients of PSC Small Grant Awards
Working Conditions and Health Disparities
My research focuses on the ways that working conditions – including physical and mental demands at work, how much control a worker has over his/her schedule, long hours and access to a union – contribute to health disparities among American workers. I am considering disparities by race, sex and age in cardiovascular outcomes, self-reported health, mental health and physical function. I will conduct this research using a dataset collected at the Institute for Social Research, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics.
I have found that while researchers in public health have extensively documented many, persistent health disparities, and researchers in occupational health have demonstrated the ways that work influences people’s health, there is little work at the intersection of those two areas. Yet we know that because of structural racism and other forms of discrimination, there is a connection between people’s race, sex, age and the kinds of jobs they do. My research explores how a range of working conditions relate to population-level inequities. I hope this work can inform solutions, like programs or policy changes, to improve working environments and foster more equitable health outcomes.