Special Issue "Social Epidemiology to Eliminate Disparities"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: reproductive justice; social epidemiology; urban health; African Americans; adverse birth outcomes; maternal and child health
Dr. Kristen Brown
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, Social and Behavioral Research Branch, Social Epidemiology Unit, Bethesda, MD, USA
Interests: social determinants of health; health equity; chronic disease epidemiology; human social genomics; gene by environment interactions; precision medicine
Dr. Zinzi Bailey
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Jay Weiss Institute for Health Equity, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
Interests: social epidemiology; cancer health disparities; health impacts of and policy solutions for structural and institutional racism; public health and criminal justice
Dr. Sharrelle Barber
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Urban Health Collaborative, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Interests: social epidemiology; structural racism; intersection of place, race, and health; cardiovascular disease; health inequities among Blacks in the Southern United States and Brazil

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social epidemiology is focused on understanding the fundamental causes and consequences of health inequities. Specifically, we explicate the ways in which society is organized to support or hinder population health. Our central question is: who and what is responsible for the social distribution of health, disease and well-being, and how can we intervene? For this Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, we are interested in highlighting scholarship that is aligned with the theme: “Social Epidemiology to Eliminate Disparities”. We are interested in action-oriented, policy- and practice-informative scholarship focused on finding solutions to health disparities.

Potential topics of interest include:

  • Health impacts of systems of oppression (racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, etc.);
  • Bidirectional relationships between health inequities and social and/or political processes;
  • Multi-level public health interventions focused on ameliorating social inequities in health;
  • Mixed-methods studies that quantify and contextualize associations between macro-social determinants and population health;
  • Within-group analyses that draw from a life-course perspective to identify risk as well as protective factors for adverse health among groups made vulnerable by their social position;
  • Research that is co-led, co-created, and co-authored by relevant community stakeholders that is focused on disrupting systems of power to achieve health equity.

Dr. Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson
Dr. Kristen Brown
Dr. Zinzi Bailey
Dr. Sharrelle Barber
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social epidemiology
  • mixed methods
  • social stratification
  • political processes
  • health inequities
  • scholarship for action
  • fundamental causes

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Prevalence of Everyday Discrimination and Relation with Wellbeing among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adults in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6577; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126577 - 18 Jun 2021
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Discrimination is a fundamental determinant of health and health inequities. However, despite the high prevalence of discrimination exposure, there is limited evidence specific to Indigenous populations on the link between discrimination and health. This study employs a validated measure to quantify experiences of [...] Read more.
Discrimination is a fundamental determinant of health and health inequities. However, despite the high prevalence of discrimination exposure, there is limited evidence specific to Indigenous populations on the link between discrimination and health. This study employs a validated measure to quantify experiences of everyday discrimination in a national sample of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia’s Indigenous peoples) adults surveyed from 2018 to 2020 (≥16 years, n = 8108). It quantifies Prevalence Ratios (PRs) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs) for wellbeing outcomes by level of discrimination exposure, and tests if associations vary by attribution of discrimination to Indigeneity. Of the participants, 41.5% reported no discrimination, 47.5% low, and 11.0% moderate-high. Discrimination was more commonly reported by younger versus older participants, females versus males, and those living in remote versus urban or regional areas. Discrimination was significantly associated in a dose-response manner, with measures of social and emotional wellbeing, culture and identity, health behaviour, and health outcomes. The strength of the association varied across outcomes, from a 10–20% increased prevalence for some outcomes (e.g., disconnection from culture (PR = 1.08; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.14), and high blood pressure (1.20; 1.09, 1.32)), to a five-fold prevalence of alcohol dependence (4.96; 3.64, 6.76), for those with moderate-high versus no discrimination exposure. The association was of consistent strength and direction whether attributed to Indigeneity or not—with three exceptions. Discrimination is associated with a broad range of poor wellbeing outcomes in this large-scale, national, diverse cohort of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults. These findings support the vast potential to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ wellbeing, and to reduce Indigenous-non-Indigenous inequities, by reducing exposure to discrimination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Epidemiology to Eliminate Disparities)
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