P3H Research

Research at the P3H Lab investigates how places and their policies shape people’s ability to live long and healthy lives. Most of our research is organized around two major themes:

In Theme A our research examines how US state policies – and changes in those policies since the early 1980’s – have affected population health. We are particularly interested in the consequences of state policies for subgroups of the population, such as adults with relatively low levels of formal education.

In Theme B our research examines how local (i.e., counties, neighborhoods) conditions, such as economic distress and social cohesion, affect population health. We are particularly interested in how these local conditions affect health care access and use, mental health and substance misuse, and mortality from alcohol, suicide, and drug overdoses, often referred to as “deaths of despair.” This line of research has a particular focus on rural people and places and understanding variation in population health along the US rural-urban continuum.

In addition to disseminating our research through traditional academic outlets (e.g., journal articles, conferences), we also regularly share findings of our research with the public and policymakers through publicly-accessible research briefs, presentations to local community groups and government officials, and engagement with the media.

Click on these links to learn more about each theme.

Theme A: US States

Theme B: US Local Areas