IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

In urban South Africa, 16 year old adolescents experience greater health equality than children

Listed author(s):
  • Griffiths, Paula L.
  • Johnson, William
  • Cameron, Noël
  • Pettifor, John M.
  • Norris, Shane A.
Registered author(s):

    Despite the strongly established link between socio-economic status (SES) and health across most stages of the life-course, the evidence for a socio-economic gradient in adolescent health outcomes is less consistent. This paper examines associations between household, school, and neighbourhood SES measures with body composition outcomes in 16 year old South African Black urban adolescents from the 1990 born Birth to Twenty (Bt20) cohort. Multivariable regression analyses were applied to data from a sub-sample of the Bt20 cohort (n=346, 53% male) with measures taken at birth and 16 years of age to establish socio-economic, biological, and demographic predictors of fat mass, lean mass, and body mass index (BMI). Results were compared with earlier published evidence of health inequality at ages 9–10 years in Bt20. Consistent predictors of higher fat mass and BMI in fully adjusted models were being female, born post term, having a mother with post secondary school education, and having an obese mother. Most measures of SES were only weakly associated with body composition, with an inconsistent direction of association. This is in contrast to earlier findings with Bt20 9–10 year olds where SES inequalities in body composition were observed. Findings suggest targeting obesity interventions at females in households where a mother has a high BMI.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 502-514

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:502-514
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2013.05.004
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Case, Anne & Menendez, Alicia, 2009. "Sex differences in obesity rates in poor countries: Evidence from South Africa," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 271-282, December.
    2. repec:pri:cheawb:case_and_menendez_ehb_dec_2009 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Shane A. Norris & Linda M. Richter & Stella A. Fleetwood, 2007. "Panel studies in developing countries: case analysis of sample attrition over the past 16 years within the birth to twenty cohort in Johannesburg, South Africa," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 1143-1150.
    4. Cleland, John G. & van Ginneken, Jerome K., 1988. "Maternal education and child survival in developing countries: The search for pathways of influence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 1357-1368, January.
    5. Cameron, Noel, 2003. "Physical growth in a transitional economy: the aftermath of South African apartheid," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 29-42, January.
    6. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
    7. Boyle, Michael H. & Racine, Yvonne & Georgiades, Katholiki & Snelling, Dana & Hong, Sungjin & Omariba, Walter & Hurley, Patricia & Rao-Melacini, Purnima, 2006. "The influence of economic development level, household wealth and maternal education on child health in the developing world," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 2242-2254, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:4:p:502-514. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.