Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Linda Baer


This paper investigated the association between selected social and environmental factors and age and sex-specific cancer mortality by planning district in South Dakota for 1960 to 1980. Social factors included median family income, percent of families in poverty, education, and urbanization. Environmental factors included herbicide use, pesticide use, and fertilizer use. Selected demographic variables, such as age, sex, and race were uses as control variables. Modernization theory was chosen as ·the conceptual framework. It was asserted that as the United States industrialized, standard of living also rose, and a shift from communicable diseases to degenerative illnesses as major causes of death also took place, thus making cancer an important factor in mortality analysis. Census, vital statistics data, and agricultural census data were utilized. For statistical purposes, multiple regression analysis (Leaps and Bourids procedure) was performed to identify the variables or sets of variables and their explanations of the variability in the dependent variable. Correlation was also performed to test research hypotheses. It was found that death due to female breast cancer had the highest increase in South Dakota from 1960 to 1980, followed by respiratory organs death and lymphatic tissues cancer. death. However, death due to connective tissues and genital organs cancer had decreased during this period. Of the independent variables considered, income, herbicide use, percent of poverty families, and education were significantly related to different types of cancers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cancer -- South Dakota -- Environmental aspects

Cancer -- South Dakota -- Social aspects

Cancer -- South Dakota -- Mortality

Mortality -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University