• The Conceptualization of Race and Racism in the Discourse Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Inequities

      Vanidestine, Todd J.; Reisch, Michael, 1948- (2015)
      The conceptualization of race, racism, and Whiteness through language and discourse influences policy agendas to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities/inequities. The manner in which these terms are conceptualized within health promotion agendas also influence the ways social welfare/health professionals take action to address them. The definition of terms like "race," "racism," or "Whiteness" can potentially reinforce or challenge previously held understandings of these concepts. The meaning assigned to racial concepts also reveals who has the resources to interpret, reproduce, and benefit from the sanctioned knowledge. The purpose of the current qualitative study was to explore how policy agendas and social welfare/health professionals conceptualized race, racism, and Whiteness. Additional considerations included the possible influence of those conceptualizations on their actions to address racial and ethnic health disparities/inequities was examined. The primary sources of data were published policy agendas designed to address racial and ethnic health disparities at the city, state, national, and international levels. Furthermore, social welfare/health professionals working in West Baltimore also participated in qualitative interviews as an additional source of information. Grounded theory theme identification (GT; Charmaz, 2014) and critical discourse analysis (CDA; Fairclough, 2009, 2012) provided the methodologies to analyze both sources of data. The city, state, and national policy agendas to eliminate racial health disparities/inequities focused on two complementary discourses, state-sanctioned racial categorizations and racial differences, as the basis for individual-focused interventions. Similarly, the professionals' discourses included skin color identification/categorization and racial [pre]judgments/discrimination. Finally, the common discourses professionals used to describe actions taken to address racial and ethic health disparities were: a) collaboration, engagement, and outreach; b) health provision and promotion; and c) race training, awareness, and diversity. Conversely, the international policy agendas included discourses of government accountability, political context, and theorizing social power. The language and discourse assigned to racial concepts within the professional context can act as barriers or bridges to the formation of comprehensive policies and practices to address the injustice of racialized health outcomes. In turn, the meanings we assign through language and discourse inform the types of analyses and interventions we implement to eliminate racial and ethnic health outcomes.
    • Understanding Financial Behavioral Health and Race (Racism), and their Association with Investment Risk Willingness

      Anvari-Clark, Jeffrey; Frey, Jodi J; 0000-0003-3234-8549 (2022)
      The conception of financial behavioral health (FBH) is new and lacks a common definition. This dissertation frames FBH as being comprised of financial precarity, financial self-efficacy (FSE), and financial well-being, and has the potential to influence multiple other behavioral health domains. The literature review shows how each component of FBH relates to other domains of behavioral health, including mental health, physical health, coping health, and social health. Stress and life course theory and insights on scarcity from the behavioral sciences are used to understand how FBH impacts the human condition, which, in a negative context, can manifest as money disorders. To explore FBH empirically, data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (N = 27,091; FINRA Investor Education Foundation, 2018) was used. First, a measure of financial precarity was constructed with both objective and subjective components, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and achieved adequate fit. Next, the relationship between FBH and its component parts was assessed, again with adequate fit. The study attempted to determine how a subset of Black and White survey respondents experienced FBH differently, according to collectivist or individualist financial values orientations. However, it was found through measurement invariance testing that although the FBH model had an excellent fit for White respondent data, it poorly fit the data from Black respondents. Due to the model variance, determining further impact of racial group affiliation on the outcome could not be conducted. The study concluded with a structural equation modeling analysis and determined that, controlling for key demographic variables, FBH accounted for 37% of the variance in investment risk willingness (R2 = .368; β = 0.256, p < .001). The project contributes a new measure of financial precarity and a basis for FBH. The variance between the sub-groups may indicate that the survey questions are inadequately capturing the collectivist experience by which many people treat their finances. The project shows how finances can have a psycho-behavioral impact on well-being and decisions, the influence FBH has on investment risk willingness, and suggests that low FBH may perpetuate wealth gaps.