Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Daniel M. Okenu


Health inequality conflates a huge number of economic, social, and political issues. These issues, together described as social determinants, determine a population's health through influencing health status and life expectancy. The research purpose of this study was to examine how social determinants affected the life expectancy of the women of Edo State, based on secondary data from Nigeria's 2008 demographic and health survey (NDHS). The theories that guided the study were self-efficacy beliefs of the social cognitive theory and physical self-concept of the health belief model. This quantitative cross-sectional study examined the associations between socioeconomic status, nutritional status, literacy/educational attainment, access to household sanitation facilities, and life expectancy. The dependent variables were health status and life expectancy (assessed using parity and age at first delivery). The independent variables were employment, ability to read and write, listening to the radio, type of place of residence, and persons responsible for reproductive health decisions. The analysis was based on data from 950 completed face-to-face interviews in the 2008 NDHS covering 846 households in Edo State selected using a stratified 2-stage cluster sampling design. Regression analyses showed that listening to the radio, persons responsible for decisions on reproductive health issues, employment, and type of place of residence had significant positive effects on parity and age at first delivery. Employment was the best predictor of both dependent variables. Ability to read and write had a negative relationship with the age at first delivery. The social change implications include the attainment of longer lives in Edo State, Nigeria, through effective policies on employment and education.