Social Determinants

Social determinants of health

Environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, worship and play influence health.  The conditions in these environments are social, some are physical, and both are “place-based.”  The conditions in which we live can explain why some of us are healthier than others on the Eastern Shore. The following risk conditions shape health beyond lifestyle choice and available medical care.

Social determinants

  • Availability of resources to meet daily needs (e.g., safe housing and local food)
  • Access to educational, economic, and job opportunities
  • Access to health care services
  • Quality of education and job training
  • Availability of community-based resources in support of community living and opportunities for recreational and leisure-time activities
  • Transportation options
  • Public Safety
  • Social support
  • Social norms and attitudes (e.g., discrimination racism, and distrust of government)
  • Exposure to crime, violence, and social disorder (e.g., presence of trash and lack of cooperation in a community)
  • Socioeconomic conditions (e.g., concentrated poverty and the stressful conditions that accompany it)
  • Residential segregation
  • Language/literacy
  • Access to mass media and emerging technologies (e.g., cell phones, the Internet, and social media)
  • Culture


Two men sitting at a table