Duke Sociologists challenge prior research, find ethnic diversity in health among Whites


Professors Jen’nan Read, Scott Lynch, and PhD candidate Jessie West recently published the lead article in a special issue of Population Research and Policy Review. In the article, they challenge the conventional approach to treating non-Hispanic Whites as the comparison group to gauge racial and ethnic health disparities. Instead, they use nationally representative data to examine the extent of diversity in health among Whites and find that health disparities within the White population are almost as large as disparities within other racial groups. They conclude that the standard practice of treating Whites as the reference category against which groups are compared obscures substantial heterogeneity among them.

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