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Theory and empiricism: A comment on “Interrogating the environmental affordances model” by Pamplin and colleagues

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Abstract

We strongly support efforts to generate, rigorously test, and falsify hypotheses derived from the Environmental Affordances (EA) Model of Health Disparities, as originated by the late Dr. James S. Jackson (1940–2020). Such efforts are critical to establishing robust, theoretically grounded scientific frameworks that explain the fundamental causes of racial disparities in health and wellbeing. Pamplin et al. (2021) fundamentally misrepresents the EA Model as a framework that (falsely) reifies the role of race as a determinant of health behaviors and health outcomes. Further, both their study design and analytic approach are inappropriate for testing predictions of this framework. We address these issues with the goal of recentering the scholarly conversation about how stress contributes to health, and disparities in health, over the life course.

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Race and self-regulatory health behaviors: the role of the stress response and the HPA axis in physical and mental health disparities
  • J S Jackson
  • K M Knight
Jackson JS, Knight KM, 2006. Race and self-regulatory health behaviors: the role of the stress response and the HPA axis in physical and mental health disparities. In: Schaie KW, Cartensen L (Eds.), Social Structures, Aging and Self-Regulation in the Elderly. Springer, New York, NY, pp. 189-207.