First Advisor

Hyeyoung Woo

Term of Graduation

Spring 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology






Digital divide -- Health aspects, Public health



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 150 pages)


This dissertation is comprised of three papers that consider ways in which one's level of digital access may impact self-rated health. Data are from multiple years of three separate nationally representative cross-sectional surveys: National Health Interview Survey, General Social Survey, and Health Information National Trends Survey to address the primary overarching research question: Is there an association between digital access and health? The examination of the relationship between digital access and health is situated within a social determinants of health perspective and draws on van Dijk's (2005) causal and sequential model of digital access. Education, income, race and ethnicity, work status, job satisfaction, occupation, and eHealth activities are all considered as possible moderators/mediators of the relationship between digital access and health. The findings of this dissertation suggest that digital access is an emerging social determinant of health. This may have important implications for existing health disparities as evidence of persistent socioeconomic and demographic disparities in digital access was also shown in this study.


© 2021 Elizabeth Melissa Withers

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