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Racial disparities among the physical and mental health of Head Start staff


Racial disparities have been found to exist within the health care setting; this paper investigates the existence of such differences among Head Start (HS) staff in terms of health and wellness. The purpose of the study was to compare physical health indicators from a Louisiana HS sample to a previously published data set of Pennsylvania HS staff (Whitaker et al., 2013). We surveyed a predominately Black (85.6%) group of HS teachers (N = 195) using a modified questionnaire developed by a Pennsylvania research team. The responses were analyzed against a national reference and Pennsylvania group of HS teachers (Whitaker et al., 2013). Results indicated that HS teachers have a higher prevalence of health-related problems than the national sample. However, our sample of Black teachers in HS start classrooms experienced worse physical health than White women with similar characteristics (age, marital status). These results have profound implications regarding health disparities and the physical well-being of HS teachers. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Louisiana; Pennsylvania

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