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Katrina Walsemann, School of Public Policy

Race differences in school attendance across the Jim Crow South and its implications for Black-White disparities in cognitive impairment risk among older adults
When Apr 19, 2021
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Online via Zoom
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

Stark racial disparities in cognitive impairment exist in the United States. Although education is a key protective factor against cognitive impairment, education does not fully explain these disparities. Despite policies that legally segregated Black and White students in the U.S. South prior to 1954, most research assumes that a year of schooling is equivalent across race even though these policies resulted in Black students attending fewer days of school annually than their White counterparts. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by linking historical data on Black and White schools in the states that legally mandated racially segregated schooling to the Health and Retirement Study. We determine if accounting for differential rates of school attendance among Black and White students across birth years and states better explains Black-White disparities in cognitive impairment risk among older adults who attended school in the Jim Crow South.

About the Speaker

 Katrina Walsemann

Dr. Walsemann is the Roger C. Lipitz Chair in Health Policy and associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a faculty associate at the Maryland Population Research Center. She received her Ph.D. and MPH from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and completed a National Institute of Aging (NIA) post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. She is a population health scientist with a particular focus on how the U.S. education system shapes individuals’ physical and mental health, independent from and in relation to other structural factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, and social class. Her current projects, funded by the Alzheimer’s Association (AARG-NTF-20-684252) and the National Institute of Aging (1R01AG067536-01), examine the role of state and local educational contexts on cognitive impairment and dementia in older adulthood. 

Note:  Zoom Link for Registration.  Upon registration you will receive an automatically generated email with the direct link for the seminar.

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