As this issue suggests, medical and applied anthropologists have been working in Appalachia for many years. Many applied medical anthropologists have cautioned about the limits of seeing the people of this special region as a uniform group, defined by cultural difference and isolated from broader society (Drew and Schoenberg 2011). Appalachian perspectives about health often vary widely, suggesting a diversity that may better demonstrate Appalachia's connection to the rest of the United States, rather than indicate its difference. Anthropologists have illuminated the diversity of groups within Appalachia as they have examined different dimensions of health. For example, cultural differences in community organization and values about child raising between white and Cherokee Appalachian youth shape distinct patterns in the timing of reproduction between the groups (Brown, Hruschka, and Worthman 2009). Examinations of health at the household level have revealed variation in health outcomes even within families. Crooks' analysis of childhood nutrition in Eastern Kentucky reveals that the factors associated with childhood stunting vary by child gender (Crooks 1999), demonstrating the importance of family-level influences on health.

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