Dissertation Abstracts

Health inequalities and social network structures: A comparison between Singapore and Seoul, South Korea

Author: Minhye Kim, A0092025@u.nus.edu
Department: Sociology
University: National University of Singapore, Singapore
Supervisor: Paulin Straughan
Year of completion: 2016
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Social determinants , health inequality , social network , mediating effect
Areas of Research: Health , Population , Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy


This dissertation examines the effects of social determinants on self-rated health among the near elderly aged 50 – 69 in Singapore and Seoul, South Korea. Two representative datasets from the joint research project, “A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Promoting Longevity, Healthy and Successful Ageing” by the National University of Singapore and the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs were utilized. The logistic regression analyses show that household income has a stronger effect on health in South Korean society than in Singapore. Furthermore, the independent effects of primary education and lower level of housing were significant only in Seoul, suggesting more pervasive inequalities of socioeconomic status on self-rated health. Regarding social network structures, the number of children, upper reachability and community involvement were important mediators of health inequalities in both countries. It is worth mentioning that education-based inequalities are more extensively mediated by social network structures in Seoul than in Singapore.

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