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Life-course financial strain and health in African-Americans

Listed author(s):
  • Szanton, Sarah L.
  • Thorpe, Roland J.
  • Whitfield, Keith
Registered author(s):

    Differential exposure to financial strain may explain some differences in population health. However, few studies have examined the cumulative health effect of financial strain across the life-course. Studies that have are limited to self-reported health measures. Our objective was to examine the associations between childhood, adulthood, and life-course, or cumulative, financial strain with disability, lung function, cognition, and depression. In a population-based cross-sectional cohort study of adult African-American twins enrolled in the US Carolina African American Twin Study of Aging (CAATSA), we found that participants who reported financial strain as children and as adults are more likely to be physically disabled, and report more depressive symptoms than their unstrained counterparts. Participants who reported childhood financial strain had lower cognitive functioning than those with no childhood financial strain. We were unable to detect a difference in lung function beyond the effect of actual income and education in those who reported financial strain compared to those who did not. Financial strain in adulthood was more consistently associated with poor health than was childhood financial strain, a finding that suggests targeting adult financial strain could help prevent disability and depression among African-American adults.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(10)00299-6
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 71 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 259-265

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:71:y:2010:i:2:p:259-265
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    1. Seeman, Teresa E. & Crimmins, Eileen & Huang, Mei-Hua & Singer, Burton & Bucur, Alexander & Gruenewald, Tara & Berkman, Lisa F. & Reuben, David B., 2004. "Cumulative biological risk and socio-economic differences in mortality: MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(10), pages 1985-1997, May.
    2. Freedman, Vicki A. & Martin, Linda G. & Schoeni, Robert F. & Cornman, Jennifer C., 2008. "Declines in late-life disability: The role of early- and mid-life factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(7), pages 1588-1602, April.
    3. Oakes, J. Michael & Rossi, Peter H., 2003. "The measurement of SES in health research: current practice and steps toward a new approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 769-784, February.
    4. Joe Feinglass & Suru Lin & Jason Thompson & Joseph Sudano & Dorothy Dunlop & Jing Song & David W. Baker, 2007. "Baseline Health, Socioeconomic Status, and 10-Year Mortality Among Older Middle-Aged Americans: Findings From the Health and Retirement Study, 1992–2002," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(4), pages 209-217.
    5. Seeman, Teresa & Merkin, Sharon S. & Crimmins, Eileen & Koretz, Brandon & Charette, Susan & Karlamangla, Arun, 2008. "Education, income and ethnic differences in cumulative biological risk profiles in a national sample of US adults: NHANES III (1988-1994)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 72-87, January.
    6. Sarah L. Szanton & Jerilyn K. Allen & Roland J. Thorpe & Teresa Seeman & Karen Bandeen-Roche & Linda P. Fried, 2008. "Effect of Financial Strain on Mortality in Community-Dwelling Older Women," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 63(6), pages 369-374.
    7. Matthews, Ruth J. & Smith, Lucy K. & Hancock, Ruth M. & Jagger, Carol & Spiers, Nicola A., 2005. "Socioeconomic factors associated with the onset of disability in older age: a longitudinal study of people aged 75 years and over," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(7), pages 1567-1575, October.
    8. Kenneth F. Ferraro & Roland J. Thorpe & George P. McCabe & Jessica A. Kelley-Moore & Zhen Jiang, 2006. "The Color of Hospitalization Over the Adult Life Course: Cumulative Disadvantage in Black and White?," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(6), pages 299-306.
    9. Gavin Turrell & John W. Lynch & George A. Kaplan & Susan A. Everson & Eeva-Liisa Helkala & Jussi Kauhanen & Jukka T. Salonen, 2002. "Socioeconomic Position Across the Lifecourse and Cognitive Function in Late Middle Age," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 57(1), pages 43-51.
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