Racial Disparities Among the Physical and Mental Health of Head Start Staff

Racial Disparities Among Head Start Staff


  • Adam Blancher Louisiana State University Health – Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4820-6190
  • Michelle Yetman Louisiana State University Health Sciences - Shreveport
  • Tyler Reekes


Head Start, racial disparities, health outcomes, health and wellness


Racial disparities are known to exist in terms of health care; this paper investigated if such differences existed among Head Start staff in terms of health and wellness.  The purpose of the study was to compare physical health indicators from a Louisiana HS sample to a previously published data set of Pennsylvania HS staff [4]. 

We surveyed a predominately black (85.6%) group of HS teachers (n = 195) using a modified questionnaire developed by a Pennsylvania research team. The responses were compared to a national reference and Pennsylvania group of HS teachers [4].

Results indicated that HS teachers have higher prevalence of health-related problems than the national sample. However, our sample of black teachers in HS start classrooms experienced worse physical health than white women with similar characteristics (age, marital status, etc.). These results have profound implications regarding health disparities as well as the physical well-being of HS teachers.

Author Biographies

Adam Blancher, Louisiana State University Health – Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions

Dr. Blancher is an Associate Professor within the School of Allied Health Professions at Lousiana State University Health - Shreveport.  He also serves at the Clinical Internship Program Director.  Dr. Blancher has a decade long partnership with Head Start, providing staff training, behavioral interventions and support to an on-going health and wellness program.    

Tyler Reekes

Tyler holds a Bachelor of Science degree and currenlty is a PhD student within the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology & Neuroscience at Louisiana State University Health - Shreveport.





Research Articles