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Social Inequality in Early Childhood Health - Participation in the Preventive Health Care Program for Children


  • Sten Becker
  • Karin Kurz


This paper asks how far socioeconomic differences in parental child health investments can be explained by personal and social resources within the family. Using SOEP data from the 2003 to 2008 newborn questionnaire, we estimate multiple logistic regressions to determine the effects of migration status, education, time resources, coping competencies, and social resources (in terms of shared parenthood and childcare support by the partner and relatives) on participation in the national German preventive health care program for children (U-Untersuchungen). First, our analyses reveal strong influences of maternal education and migration status, whereas social class plays no significant role for participation in preventive health checkups for children. Second, the likelihood of participation is higher the better mothers cope with motherhood and the more time they spend with their offspring. Finally, we find mixed effects of social resources ranging from a positive influence of parents living together, over no effect of childcare support provided by the father of the child, to a seemingly negative impact of support from further kin relations. All in all, personal and social resources do not seem to play a crucial role in explaining participation in child health programs in terms of social disparities between educational and ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Sten Becker & Karin Kurz, 2011. "Social Inequality in Early Childhood Health - Participation in the Preventive Health Care Program for Children," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 131(2), pages 381-394.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v131_y2011_i2_q2_p381-394

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    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General


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