Childhood socioeconomic deprivation and later adulthood health
Purpose - Although the link between socioeconomic deprivation and health status has been identified by many researchers, not much attention has been paid to the intergenerational effect of poverty on physical and psychological health status. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of childhood deprivation on health at the later stages of the working age. Design/methodology/approach - Data for individuals aged between 50 and 65 in six European countries are collected using purpose build questionnaires. The dataset provides information on issues such as physical and mental health status, past working experiences, socioeconomic and occupational background, incidence of diseases and sense of well-being. Ordinary least squares (OLS) and ordered logit models are utilised to estimate the effect of childhood deprivation on health status indices. Logit models are also used to investigate the effects of childhood deprivation on the likelihood of an individual suffering from specific disease. Findings - There is a consistent and significant negative effect of childhood deprivation on the overall health profile at later adulthood. For instance, for each additional unit of the childhood deprivation index, the index of the mobility status and physical health status in later adulthood decrease by 0.19 and 0.28, respectively, the index of the psychological health decrease by almost 0.41 and the odds of exhibiting better self-assessed health decrease by a factor of 0.86 (all Originality/value - It is shown that childhood socioeconomic deprivation has long lasting detrimental effects on the health of individuals that are observable at the later ages of working life. Hence, the relationship between childhood socioeconomic deprivation and adult health should be an important factor in social policy and health care planning in an era of aging populations.
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Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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