By Angela Grant
Which Baby Will Likely Die First?
Which baby is likely to die first? It’s a shame when we can make such predictions based on the color of our skins! We now know health outcomes are heavily influenced by our social interactions and physical environments, an unfortunate finding for those living in disadvantaged, abusive, toxin-infested environments. Which baby will likely die first? The darker colored baby assuming these babies all live in the U.S.
It’s a shame we can make such predictions based on the color of our skins!
Can we assume the same in education? Are educational outcomes also determined by the socio-physical environment? I think so. Similar health and negative educational outcomes are seen in disadvantaged children, children of color, and impoverished children. These poor outcomes fuel the cycle of poverty perpetuated by inequities, injustices and lack of access that are embedded in social class and race.
The following numbers show the impact of societal influences on health outcomes are greater than those of medical providers. Those influences can be positive or negative. That revered doctor/patient relationship and medications account for only 15% of health outcomes. Surprisingly, the life a person lives outside the doctor’s office determines 55% of health outcomes. Those outcomes are dependent on social interactions and the physical environment. The remaining 30% are genetic influences which are often dependent on the environment for expression of certain traits.
Societal stressors determine health outcomes. Chronic stress kills, i.e., stress caused by discrimination, social isolation and environmental toxins. My posts, Gene-Environment Interactions Simplified, and Theory of Change, offer other frameworks to understand why people of color and people living in poverty have poor health outcomes.
Shouldn’t we place more emphasis on improving social-emotional-communication skills? We may see improved health and educational outcomes. The most successful approaches partner with targeted communities to build multi-disciplinary cross-cultural collaborations.
The following link is a video of the Bigwigs discussing lifelong health. It is a good video on not only the importance of Early Childhood Education but also on policy changes that benefit families, real innovative approaches to lifelong health.
As I watched the video, my mind kept thinking, does this also apply to education? If you are constantly beaten down, it affects your health as well as your ability to learn, more so when you are a child.
Who are the groups with poor health outcomes? Groups in the lower socioeconomic status, high risk communities. The same groups with poor educational outcomes.
This is not a coincidence!