Social Ecology, Genomics, and African American Health: A Nonlinear Dynamical Perspective.


Journal Article

This article offers a model that clarifies the degree of interdependence between social ecology and genomic processes. Drawing on principles from nonlinear dynamics, the model delineates major lines of bifurcation involving people's habitat, their family health history, and collective catastrophes experienced by their community. It shows how mechanisms of resource acquisition, depletion, and preservation can lead to disruptions in basic metabolism and in the activity of cytokines, neurotransmitters, and protein kinases, thus giving impetus to epigenetic changes. The hypotheses generated from the model are discussed throughout the article for their relevance to health problems among African Americans. Where appropriate, they are examined in light of data from the National Vital Statistics System. Multiple health outcomes are considered. For any one of them, the model makes clear the unique and converging contributions of multiple antecedent factors.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Madhere, S; Harrell, J; Royal, CDM

Published Date

  • January 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 154 - 179

PubMed ID

  • 19672481

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19672481

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0095-7984

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0095798409333587


  • eng