Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 3908-3929; doi:10.3390/ijerph10093908
Article

Education as a Social Determinant of Health: Issues Facing Indigenous and Visible Minority Students in Postsecondary Education in Western Canada

1 Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, 444 11044, 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6G0T2, Canada 2 Department of Community Studies, Faculty of Health and Community Studies, NorQuest College, Edmonton, AB T5J 1L6, Canada 3 School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada 4 Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), Private Bag X41, Pretoria 0001, South Africa 5 Department of Built Environment, Population and Development Studies, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, KZN, 4001, South Africa 6 Department of Sociology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 June 2013; in revised form: 11 July 2013 / Accepted: 19 August 2013 / Published: 28 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
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Abstract: The level of educational attainment is increasingly being recognized as an important social determinant of health. While higher educational attainment can play a significant role in shaping employment opportunities, it can also increase the capacity for better decision making regarding one’s health, and provide scope for increasing social and personal resources that are vital for physical and mental health. In today’s highly globalized knowledge based society postsecondary education (PSE) is fast becoming a minimum requirement for securing employment that can afford young adults the economic, social and personal resources needed for better health. Canada ranks high among OECD countries in terms of advanced education, with 66% of Canadians having completed some form of postsecondary education. Yet youth from low income indigenous and visible minority (LIIVM) backgrounds continue to be poorly represented at PSE levels. The current study aimed to understand the reasons for this poor representation by examining the experiences of LIIVM students enrolled in a postsecondary program. Findings show that the challenges they faced during the course of their study had an adverse impact on their health and that improving representation of these students in PSE will require changes at many levels.
Keywords: low income minority youth; postsecondary education; social determinants of health

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MDPI and ACS Style

Shankar, J.; Ip, E.; Khalema, E.; Couture, J.; Tan, S.; Zulla, R.T.; Lam, G. Education as a Social Determinant of Health: Issues Facing Indigenous and Visible Minority Students in Postsecondary Education in Western Canada. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 3908-3929.

AMA Style

Shankar J, Ip E, Khalema E, Couture J, Tan S, Zulla RT, Lam G. Education as a Social Determinant of Health: Issues Facing Indigenous and Visible Minority Students in Postsecondary Education in Western Canada. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(9):3908-3929.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shankar, Janki; Ip, Eugene; Khalema, Ernest; Couture, Jennifer; Tan, Shawn; Zulla, Rosslynn T.; Lam, Gavin. 2013. "Education as a Social Determinant of Health: Issues Facing Indigenous and Visible Minority Students in Postsecondary Education in Western Canada." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 9: 3908-3929.

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