Pills, Progress, Perils: Two Tales Told From the Lifecourse Perspective
Ehntholt, Amy Lynn
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CitationEhntholt, Amy Lynn. 2017. Pills, Progress, Perils: Two Tales Told From the Lifecourse Perspective. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
AbstractThis dissertation explores two separate topics that a reader might initially deem completely unrelated. And yet, upon closer examination, one can detect many unifying themes running through them. Paper 1 looks back at the evolving US state laws in the 1960s and 1970s—laws that dictated the age at which unmarried women could gain legal access the pill. Our study sample is made up of women who were in their teens and young adulthood a half a century ago. We investigate possible long-term effects these laws might have had on women’s mental and physical health in later life. Papers 2 and 3 focus on a different demographic—people now in their late 30s. We ask how race, as well as socioeconomic and school-level factors experienced during adolescence might be tied to the likelihood of lifetime prescription painkiller abuse reported in young adulthood. Underlying themes begin with the central players—all are pills, or pharmaceuticals. But at the heart of these analyses there also exists an emphasis on a lifecourse perspective when examining health outcomes—how early-life factors can “get under our skin,” creating differences in health among populations that remain apparent decades later. There also appears a theme of access and control—who is granted access to these pills and when and how that access is controlled (or not). Finally, the powerful consequences such decisions can have—towards progress and improved health, but also towards perilous endings.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42066830