Health Care Disparities in Children:
A Joint Article Collection from Journal of Pediatric Health Care and The Journal of Pediatrics
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the effects of toxic stresses in our society that stem from systematic and structural racism and inequities. Such stresses include poverty, homelessness, disabilities, unemployment, civil unrest, food insecurity, substance abuse, social isolation and limited access to care. The purpose of this virtual issue compiled by The Journal of Pediatrics and the Journal of Pediatric Health Care is to further name and explicate health care disparities in children and youth associated with toxic stress, and to highlight approaches to reduce such inequities.
- In epidemiologic research, race is considered often as a covariate of an outcome because such is customary practice, is seemingly easy to measure, is stable over time, and often is associated with variation in the outcome.1 The complexities and limitations in using race, a socially constructed way of grouping people for these purposes, however, perceptively elaborated 20 years ago,1 unmasks a dogma and challenges the neutrality of the traditional rationale for using race as a covariate. Jones underscores the points that definition and delineation of race are highly heterogeneous, contextually based, and subject to change over time, and race's association with outcome is difficult to distinguish from a broad2 range of underlying racist policies and practices.