State Political Cultures and the Mortality of African Americans and American Indians

Published in: Health & Place, v. 16, no. 3, May 2010, p. 558-566

Posted on RAND.org on May 01, 2010

by Stephen J. Kunitz, Martin McKee, Ellen Nolte

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PURPOSE: To test the hypothesis that mortality of African Americans is responsive to political cultures of particular states in which they reside whereas mortality of American Indians is unrelated to the political culture of the state but associated instead with cultural differences and with differences in the history of contact with Europeans. RESULTS: African American mortality rates are significantly correlated with the scale measure of political culture but there is no such association with American Indian mortality. CONCLUSIONS: The differing relationship of these two minority populations with the federal and state governments has shaped their mortality rates in significantly different ways.

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