Department or Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Charlene Galarneau


According to the World Health Organization, social determinants of health are the "conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life." To attain better health outcomes, such determinants and the public policies that shape them must be considered. In my research, I attempt to answer two questions: how do social determinants of health such as socioeconomic status, place, and access to health care affect the health of Mexican-born women in Chicago? Furthermore, how do public policies shape such determinants and the health of these women? In exploring these questions, I draw upon relevant existing literature and my interviews with nine Mexican-born women in Chicago. These sources illustrate the unique constellation of social determinants of health that affect these women and could inform more effective public policies.