A Life Course Approach to Inequality: Examining Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Relationship between Early Life Socioeconomic Conditions and Adult Health Among Men.

TitleA Life Course Approach to Inequality: Examining Racial/Ethnic Differences in the Relationship between Early Life Socioeconomic Conditions and Adult Health Among Men.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHargrove, TW, Brown, TH
JournalEthnicity & Disease
Volume25
Issue3
Pagination313-320
ISSN Number1049-510X
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Continental Population Groups, Ethnic Groups, Humans, Life Change Events, Male, Men's health, Middle Aged, Socioeconomic factors, United States
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Previous research has documented a relationship between childhood socioeconomic conditions and adult health, but less is known about racial/ethnic differences in this relationship, particularly among men. This study utilizes a life course approach to investigate racial/ethnic differences in the relationships among early and later life socioeconomic circumstances and health in adulthood among men.

DESIGN: Panel data from the Health and Retirement Study and growth curve models are used to examine group differences in the relationships among childhood and adult socioeconomic factors and age-trajectories of self-rated health among White, Black and Mexican American men aged 51-77 years (N=4147).

RESULTS: Multiple measures of childhood socioeconomic status (SES) predict health in adulthood for White men, while significantly fewer measures of childhood SES predict health for Black and Mexican American men. Moreover, the health consequences of childhood SES diminish with age for Black and Mexican American men. The childhood SES-adult health relationship is largely explained by measures of adult SES for White men.

CONCLUSIONS: The life course pathways linking childhood SES and adult health differ by race/ethnicity among men. Similar to arguments that the universality of the adult SES-health relationship should not be assumed, results from our study suggest that scholars should not assume that the significance and nature of the association between childhood SES and health in adulthood is similar across race/ethnicity among men.

DOI10.18865/ed.25.3.313
Endnote Keywords

Life course/race/ethnicity/health

Endnote ID

999999

Citation Key8244
PubMed ID26674267
PubMed Central IDPMC4671423
Grant ListP2C HD050924 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States