Children and Dental Health
In a previous activity, we started to look at the dental health of children as a social justice issue. According to the US Centers for Disease Control,
"Oral health disparities are profound in the United States. Despite major improvements in oral health for the population as a whole, oral health disparities exist for many racial and ethnic groups, by socioeconomic status, gender, age and geographic location. ... The economic factors that often relate to poor oral health include access to health services and an individual’s ability to get and keep dental insurance."
Data Table 1
A 2012 study of a sample of over 43,000 children (aged 2 - 11 ) across the US in 2007 included the following information:
|Any dental problem
|Employed person in household
|Feel safe in the neighborhood
|Neighbors watch out for each other's children
|Adults help if child gets hurt or scared
1. What is the POPULATION being studied here? What is the SAMPLE? What are the INDIVIDUALS? What are the VARIABLES? Are the variables quantitative or qualitative?
2. What sample statistic(s) or population parameter(s) are provided?
Data Table 2
||White Mean (SD)
|Poverty level (income)a
|Number of children in the household
|Number of adults in the household
aPoverty level: (1) < 100% of federal poverty level, (2) 100%–133%, (3) 133%–150%, (4) 150%–185%, (5) 185%–200%, (6) 200%–300%, (7) 300%–400%, (8) > 400%.
Notice that the researchers took a quantitative variable (income as % of federal poverty level) and organized it categorically. They assigned each category a quantitative (ordinal) value) for purposes of analysis.
3. What sample statistic(s) or population parameter(s) are provided? What does the "mean" tell you about a sample or population? What does "SD" stand for, and what does it tell you?
4. Construct vertical bar graphs for the data on "any dental problem" and for the data on "child uninsured" from Table 1. Make sure to scale the vertical axes appropriately. You may, if you choose, combine this information into a side-by-side bar graph format.
5. The last four variables in Table 1 are considered to be "measures of social capital." How would you interpret the information provided here? What relevance, if any, do you think it has to children's dental health? Post your comments in the Discussion: Social Capital and Health