Health selection and the process of social stratification: The effect of childhood health on socioeconomic attainment

School of Social and Family Dynamics, Center for Population Dynamics, Arizona State University, PO Box 4802, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.72). 01/2007; 47(4):339-54. DOI: 10.1177/002214650604700403
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigates whether childhood health acts as a mechanism through which socioeconomic status is transferred across generations. The study uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to track siblings and to estimate fixed-effects models that account for unobserved heterogeneity at the family level. The results demonstrate that disadvantaged social background is associated with poor childhood health. Subsequently, poor health in childhood has significant, direct, and large adverse effects on educational attainment and wealth accumulation. In addition, childhood health appears to have indirect effects on occupational standing, earnings, and wealth via educational attainment and adult health status. The results further show that socioeconomic health gradients are best understood as being embedded within larger processes of social stratification.

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    • "According to the health selection hypothesis, poor health in childhood may result in reduced initial accumulation of human capital and in lower subsequent socioeconomic status in adulthood, thus partly explaining social inequalities in health (Haas, 2006; Palloni et al., 2009). Possible mechanisms include reduced school performances related to lost time of schooling or lessened projections in long-term educational goals. "
    Revue d Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique 05/2015; 63. DOI:10.1016/j.respe.2015.03.030 · 0.66 Impact Factor
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    • "It has been meta-analytically shown that intelligence at previous ages can be considered as a powerful predictor of socioeconomic success (Strenze, 2007). Evidence has also been found for poor health in childhood as a negative predictor of educational attainment , and indirectly a negative predictor of occupational attainment (Haas, 2006). Besides these predictive pathways towards socioeconomic success, both health and intelligence at early ages seem to predict the same construct at later ages. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: We followed 190 internationally adopted children from infancy to young adulthood to examine the long-term consequences of early malnutrition on cognitive and health-related outcomes. Method: We measured birth weight and physical condition in infancy, IQ and somatic problems in middle childhood, adolescence and young adulthood; in young adulthood, socioeconomic success was also assessed. Results: Early malnutrition negatively affected IQin middle childhood and to a lesser extent IQ in young adulthood, but a negative effect on socioeconomic success was absent. Higher levels of early malnutrition predicted more somatic problems in middle childhood. Conclusions: Variation in early malnutrition explains differences in cognitive and health-related outcomes, with early malnutrition predicting lower IQs in middle childhood and in young adulthood. Early malnutrition did however not negatively affect the young adult's socioeconomic success, indicating that early malnutrition may be compensated by later experiences.
    Children and Youth Services Review 01/2015; 48. DOI:10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.12.010 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "They argue that education provides problem solving skills and a sense of self-efficacy that they call " learned effectiveness " which characterizes a lifestyle in which the prioritization and knowledge of healthy choices is expected. On the other end of this continuum, some have argued that health causes education, as individuals with the poorest health are less likely than more healthy individuals to successfully accomplish on time educational goals (Haas, 2006; Palloni et al., 2009). Health shocks to children (Currie and Stabile, 2003) or parents (Boardman et al., 2012) constrain children's success in school, which may lead to reduced likelihood of graduation because of low exam scores (Case et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: We use genome wide data from respondents of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) to evaluate the possibility that common genetic influences are associated with education and three health outcomes: depression, self-rated health, and body mass index. We use a total of 1.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms obtained from the Illumina HumanOmni2.5-4v1 chip from 4233 non-Hispanic white respondents to characterize genetic similarities among unrelated persons in the HRS. We then used the Genome Wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA) toolkit, to estimate univariate and bivariate heritability. We provide evidence that education (h(2) = 0.33), BMI (h(2) = 0.43), depression (h(2) = 0.19), and self-rated health (h(2) = 0.18) are all moderately heritable phenotypes. We also provide evidence that some of the correlation between depression and education as well as self-rated health and education is due to common genetic factors associated with one or both traits. We find no evidence that the correlation between education and BMI is influenced by common genetic factors.
    Social Science & Medicine 08/2014; 127. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.001 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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