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Childhood circumstances and height among older adults in the United States


  • Tucker-Seeley, Reginald D.
  • Subramanian, S.V.


We investigated the association between adult height and three indicators of childhood circumstances: mother's education, childhood financial hardship, and childhood health in the United States. Cross-sectional analysis of adults aged 50 and older in the 2004 Health and Retirement Study (NÂ =Â 14,079) was conducted. Gender and gender-race stratified regression models were used to model the association between adult height and childhood circumstances. The gender-stratified results showed a positive gradient association between mother's education and adult height; those reporting up to grade 8, high school graduate, and greater than high school education for their mother were 4.17Â cm (pÂ

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  • Tucker-Seeley, Reginald D. & Subramanian, S.V., 2011. "Childhood circumstances and height among older adults in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 194-202, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:2:p:194-202

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2011. "The Long Reach of Childhood Health and Circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages 183-204, August.
    2. Batty, G. David & Shipley, Martin J. & Gunnell, David & Huxley, Rachel & Kivimaki, Mika & Woodward, Mark & Lee, Crystal Man Ying & Smith, George Davey, 2009. "Height, wealth, and health: An overview with new data from three longitudinal studies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 137-152, July.
    3. Cole, T. J., 2003. "The secular trend in human physical growth: a biological view," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 161-168, June.
    4. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
    5. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2008. "Height, Health, and Cognitive Function at Older Ages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 463-467, May.
    6. Peck, Maria Nyström & Lundberg, Olle, 1995. "Short stature as an effect of economic and social conditions in childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 733-738, September.
    7. Webb, Elizabeth Alice & Kuh, Diana & Pajak, Andrzej & Kubinova, Ruzena & Malyutina, Sofia & Bobak, Martin, 2008. "Estimation of secular trends in adult height, and childhood socioeconomic circumstances in three Eastern European populations," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 228-236, July.
    8. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
    9. Blackwell, Debra L. & Hayward, Mark D. & Crimmins, Eileen M., 2001. "Does childhood health affect chronic morbidity in later life?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1269-1284, April.
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    11. Komlos, John, 2010. "The recent decline in the height of African-American women," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 58-66, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guven, Cahit & Lee, Wang-Sheng, 2015. "Height, aging and cognitive abilities across Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 16-29.
    2. Mosca, Irene, 2013. "Body mass index, waist circumference and employment: Evidence from older Irish adults," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 522-533.
    3. Peracchi, Franco & Arcaleni, Emilia, 2011. "Early-life environment, height and BMI of young men in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 251-264, July.


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