340.666.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 3 Credit(s)
T 10:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    David Celentano
    Amanda Latimore
    W: 410-502-2620
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Explain the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the field of social epidemiology and Discuss the major unsolved issues confronting the field
    • Demonstrate the quality and limitations of measurement of key social conditions influencing health and illness of populations
    • Distinguish between psychological (individual-based) approaches to Discussing health disparities from the social perspective (community-based), and demonstrate how the empirical literature critically supports these differences for a particular health
    • Operate within and facilitate a discussion group format
  • Course Description

    Students will apply social epidemiologic concepts, introduced through weekly online lectures and readings, and through the use of discussions, group activities, case studies and labs.  This course will prepare students to understand and appreciate the contribution of social factors to disease etiology, course and the distribution of states of health in populations. After reviewing the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of social epidemiology from an historical perspective, we will focus on the scientific findings in the field from the 1970s until today. The influence of social context on behavior is well known, and forms the backbone for most health promotion interventions; we focus initially on how the social environment influences behavior, by shaping norms, reinforcing social control, providing environmental opportunity, and coping strategies. 

  • Intended Audience
    Members of the social epidemiology journal club and others interested in social determinants in epidemiologic studies.
  • Methods of Assessment

    Class participation, group and individual activities, facilitation of group discussion, and online quizzes 

  • Prerequisites
    340.751 or 340.601 or equivalent.
  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Course readings will be made available through Courseplus in the Class Materials & Resources tab.

    A textbook will not be required for this course. For students who would like more in-depth readings, the following texts are suggested:

    Berkman LF, Kawachi I, eds. Social Epidemiology.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2000;

    Galea S, ed. Macrosocial Determinants of Population Health. New York: Springer Science, 2007; and

    Marmot M, Wilkinson RG, eds. Social Determinants of Health, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Grading Policy

    Students will be evaluated on three factors:

    (1) Online lecture quizzes (35%),

    (2) Group assignments (25%)

    (3) Peer-evaluated class participation (20%), and

    (4) Individual assignment (20%, due December 2). 

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at