Copyright 2012 by Katelyn Blair. In accordance with Title 17 of the United States Code, Copyright Law of the United States of America, this material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Medically uninsured persons; Health insurance; Young adults -- Social conditions; Risk-taking (Psychology) Social work; Focus group;
The low rates of health insurance in the young adult population ages 18 to 30 are a public policy issue. While there are widespread concerns about the lack of health insurance in this population, the social science literature on the reasons why insurance is lacking is limited. This project responds to that gap in knowledge by reporting on the results of qualitative research conducted with young adults who lack health insurance through a community-based participatory approach. The project draws on quantitative data that was collected from the Young Adult Health Survey. Furthermore, it investigates the concept of high risk behaviors and perceptions of invincibility and impression management and their interface with the purchase of health insurance and public policy. Drawing on focus group interviews, this project explores how high risk behaviors and other self-reported factors shape the activities and priorities of young adults. Furthermore, the interviews assesses if treatments are delayed due to a lack of health insurance. Analysis reveals factors that influence the rates of health insurance in the young adult population and their decision to purchase or seek government funded health insurance as a result. McNair Scholar Project. Faculty Advisor: Miller, Gary, Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work.