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African-American/white differences in the age of menarche: Accounting for the difference

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  • Reagan, Patricia B.
  • Salsberry, Pamela J.
  • Fang, Muriel Z.
  • Gardner, William P.
  • Pajer, Kathleen

Abstract

Lifetime health disparity between African-American and white females begins with lower birthweight and higher rates of childhood overweight. In adolescence, African-American girls experience earlier menarche. Understanding the origins of these health disparities is a national priority. There is growing literature suggesting that the life course health development model is a useful framework for studying disparities. The purpose of this study was to quantify the influence of explanatory factors from key developmental stages on the age of menarche and to determine how much of the overall race difference in age of menarche they could explain. The factors were maternal age of menarche, birthweight, poverty during early childhood (age 0 through 5 years), and child BMI z-scores at 6 years. The sample, drawn from the US National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth Child–Mother file, consisted of 2337 girls born between 1978 and 1998. Mean age of menarche in months was 144 for African-American girls and 150 for whites.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1263-1270

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:7:p:1263-1270

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Related research

Keywords: USA; Race disparities; Menarche; Childhood BMI; Instrumental variables; Age; Girls;

References

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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. David Neumark, 1987. "Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination," Special Studies Papers 227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  4. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
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