Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Austin Johnson

Abstract

Rural regions in the United States are home to nearly one in five Americans. For decades, health disparities between rural and urban populations have been measured and discussed. Rurality has been identified as a predictor of poor health but very little research has examined why this might be the case. This project examines whether rurality should be considered a fundamental cause of disease as living in a rural space controls access to resources. To test this, a new model was developed relating health outcomes to rurality. Initial results indicate that rurality has a statistically significant but marginal impact on health. This impact is exaggerated in health conditions that are more closely tied to fears of stigma, indicating that social and cultural resources may play an outsized role in rural health disparities.

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