Social Determinants of Health

The social determinants of health influence a full 40 percent of health outcomes.

When understanding the Foundation’s mission and commitment to health, it’s important to note that while we focus on five primary determinants of health, we also recognize their inherent interconnectedness. A project might begin centralized around one goal, such as improving access to early education programs, and its impact may result in lasting influence on employment opportunities. We believe that by focusing on these five determinants of health, we can have the greatest impact.






i Susan Egerter, Colleen Barclay, Rebecca Grossman-Kahn and Paula Braveman, “Violence, Social Disadvantage and Health,” Issue Brief 10 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011), 5.

ii Ibid.

iii Susan Egerter, Paula Braveman, Tabashir Sadegh-Nobari, Rebecca Grossman-Kahn and Mercedes Dekker, “Education Matters for Health,” Issue Brief 6 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Commission to Build a Healthier America, 2009), 2.

iv Paula Braveman, Tabashir Sadegh-Nobari, Susan Egerter, “Early Childhood Experiences: Laying the Foundation for Health Across a Lifetime,” Issue Brief 1 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011), 4–5.

Susan Egerter, Mercedes Dekker, Jane An, Rebecca Grossman-Kahn and Paula Braveman, “Work Matters for Health,” Issue Brief 4 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2008), 9.

vi U. Janlert, “Unemployment and Blood Pressure in Swedish Building Labourers.” Journal of Internal Medicine, 231(3): 241–6, 1992.

vii “Family and Social Support,” County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

viii Susan Egerter, Paula Braveman, Colleen Barclay, “Stress and Health,” Issue Brief 3 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2011).

ix Paula Braveman, Susan Egerter, Jane An and David Williams. “Race and Socioeconomic Factors Affect Opportunities for Better Health,” Issue Brief 5 (Princeton: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Commission to Build a Healthier America, 2009), 4.

M. W. Otten Jr, S. M. Teutsch, D. F. Williamson and J. S. Marks, “The Effect of Known Risk Factors on the Excess Mortality of Black Adults in the United States.” Journal of American Medical Association, 263(6): 845–50, 1990.

PHOTOS (from top): St. Paul Youth Services; Minneapolis neighborhood; St. Paul Youth Services; Becker Market, Willmar; Northland Foundation; National Center for Healthy Housing