Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Sociology, MA

Committee Chair

Hognas, Robin Shirer

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Negrey, Cynthia

Committee Member

Zierold, Kristina M.


Coal mines and mining--Health aspects; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Public health--Appalachian Mountains


Appalachia is one of the unhealthiest and most economically disadvantaged regions in America. It has higher rates of diseases (including heart disease and cancer) than the rest of the United States. Past research posits that low socioeconomic conditions in Appalachia are the main determinants of health disparities, and a burgeoning body of literature is examines the relationship between coal mining and health. The latter shows that, when controlling for socioeconomic status, health status remains significantly lower in coal-producing, Appalachian counties compared to non-coal producing Appalachian counties. While previous studies examine coal production over one or two years, they do not consider change in coal production and health over a longer period of time. This work focuses on the relationship between coal production and health over an 11 year period in counties in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. The results suggest that regional changes in coal production are associated with changes in average county-level health.

Included in

Sociology Commons