ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Genevieve Graaf


This study considers residential segregation as a critical driver of racial/ethnic health disparities and introduces an index of segregation, the Representation Index, that measures segregation degree at the neighborhood level with a metric capturing the overrepresentation of a racialized/ethnic group in a census tract in relation to that group’s representation at the city level. Using Dallas, Texas as a pilot city, the index is used to investigate the association between Latinx, non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, and Asian-American groups’ over-representation at the neighborhood level with neighborhood rates of life expectancy at birth. This study aimed to expose the possibility of neighborhood mechanisms beyond socioeconomic characteristics as a critical determinant of health and draw attention to the importance of critically engaging the experience of place in examinations of racial and ethnic health disparities. Multivariable linear regression modeling resulted in significant findings for non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic white, and Asian groups, indicating increased life expectancy at the census tract level for Black and white census tract residents compared to state means and decreased life expectancy for Asian census tract residents. Unadjusted models demonstrated structural inequities between first and fourth quartile census tracts and point to the importance of mixed methods in health disparities research and the importance of including the voice of racialized group members to critically engage places and people’s relationships with them.


Place, Segregation, Health disparities


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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