Social determinants of health: Implications for environmental health promotion

Amy Schulz, Mary Northridge

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In this article, the authors draw on the disciplines of sociology and environmental and social epidemiology to further understanding of mechanisms through which social factors contribute to disparate environmental exposures and health inequalities. They propose a conceptual framework for environmental health promotion that considers dynamic social processes through which social and environmental inequalities - and associated health disparities - are produced, reproduced, and potentially transformed. Using empirical evidence from the published literature, as well as their own practical experiences in conducting community-based participatory research in Detroit and Harlem, the authors examine health promotion interventions at various levels (community-wide, regional, and national) that aim to improve population health by addressing various aspects of social processes and/or physical environments. Finally, they recommend moving beyond environmental remediation strategies toward environmental health promotion efforts that are sustainable and explicitly designed to reduce social, environmental, and health inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-471
Number of pages17
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Environmental health promotion
  • Health disparities
  • Health promotion interventions
  • Population health
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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