Geographic Analysis for the Social Sciences: Illustration through Prevention Science Research

By Elizabeth DePoy and Stephen Gilson.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, we discuss and illustrate an innovative multi-faceted prevention research model, relevant to the full range of social and health problems experienced by global communities. The difficulty of directly observing the outcome of prevention efforts on health and social problems has limited the potency of traditional experimental and quasi-experimental social science research and thus efficacious, empirically grounded practice strategies. However, because prevention efforts are geographically situated, contemporary statistical modeling methods and geospatial inquiry delimited to local communities provide the tools through which to develop models that consider economic resources, the built environment, behavioral patterns, and social and human capital.

These models can be statistically manipulated to predict the relationships between social and health problem prevalence and the availability, proximity and nature of prevention resources in a geographic area. This modeling technique therefore has the capacity to identify unmet prevention needs systematically, economically and expediently, and to predict the outcomes of realigning prevention resources tailored to local areas without expending money on unknown and untested initiatives.

Keywords: GIS, Prevention, Modeling

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp.89-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.168MB).

Dr. Elizabeth DePoy

Professor, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Dr. Elizabeth DePoy is currently the Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Maine, focusing her scholarship and theory on diversity and informing the creation of inclusive communities. She has authored and co-authored over 50 articles and books, and recently has produced multi-media, universally accessible texts with co-author, Dr. Stephen Gilson. Dr. DePoy is currently pursuing several collaborative research agendas all aimed at advancing universal access to community resources including web and electronic information. Dr. DePoy presents her work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and has collaborative relationships with international scholars. In service, Dr. DePoy provides expertise in research and evaluation design through a private, non-profit organization, Evaluation Practice.

Dr. Stephen Gilson

Professor, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Dr. Stephen Gilson is currently professor of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Maine, focusing his scholarship and theory on diversity policy and the promotion of inclusive environments. He has authored and co-authored over 40 articles and books, and recently has co-produced multi-media, universally accessible texts with co-author, Dr. Elizabeth DePoy. Dr. Gilson is currently pursuing several collaborative research agendas all aimed at advancing universal access to community resources including web and electronic information. Dr. Gilson presents his work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and has collaborative relationships with international scholars. In service, Dr. Gilson provides expertise in policy analysis and evaluation design through a private, non-profit organization, Evaluation Practice.

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