Social & Environmental Determinants of Health

Social and environmental conditions can affect people’s health powerfully. These conditions include the places where people are born and live, the type of work that they do, their income and wealth, or the type of schooling they have completed.

These factors can affect both mental and physical health and well-being. For example, access to affordable healthy food in your neighborhood grocery store and workplace affects the kinds of food you eat, and therefore your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and some types of cancer.  Other social determinants of health include socioeconomic, demographic, environmental and cultural factors.

IHPS researchers examine these social and environmental determinants of health and how they can be best addressed to support the health of entire populations. This work directly informs policymakers, community organizations, and other decision-makers seeking to address social and environmental determinants of health through policies and programs.  


Read more here to learn about the work IHPS faculty are doing to examine the impact of SDoH on health, behavior, and systems, as well as policies that might intervene to improve SDoH and ultimately, increase health equity.  

social determinants of health on a whiteboard

experts in this area

Social epidemiology; community-based participatory research; adolescent and emerging adult health; research-practice part
Equity, anti-racism, and community participatory methods; Institutional cultures and policies and its influence on serious illness care; human centered design
Language barriers and language access, Quality of care delivery for older patients, Practice based research in primary care
workforce divesification, maternal, infant and child health, racial inequities in health, social and structural determinants of health and racism
Comparative Effectiveness & Implementation Science in Safety-Net Health Settings Systems, Structural & Policy Interventions for Health Equity
social determinants of health, health equity, health disparities, access to care, outcomes research, child health.