Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
A cohort study exploring the role of health behaviours in the association between childhood socioeconomic circumstances and midlife health
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2579-8798
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite the many studies on the socioeconomic gradient in health, our understanding of the underlying mechanisms remains incomplete This study used path analysis to explore the association between childhood socioeconomic disadvantage and adult health and the extent to which this association is mediated by health behaviours. The study used information from two cohorts, a central aim was to explore the extent to which the associations examined in the study changed over time. A sample of 825 people aged 15 to 20 in 1968 and 1981 was derived from the Swedish Level of Living Survey (LNU). In our examination of individual-level life-course data, we found evidence that disadvantage was transmitted from parents to children and from childhood to adulthood, at least in the later-born cohort. The results of our cohort analyses suggest that childhood socioeconomic disadvantage was not related to health or health behaviours in the same way in the two cohorts. Specifically, the social patterning of both health and health behaviours was stronger in the later-born cohort. The health behaviours included in the analyses were thus not equally important mediators of the association between childhood socioeconomic disadvantage and midlife health in the cohorts. Because health behaviours in adolescence did not directly affect midlife health in either of the two cohorts, the results also suggest that it is the accumulated effects of health behaviours that have the greatest influence on midlife health.

National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135347OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135347DiVA: diva2:1044715
Available from: 2016-11-05 Created: 2016-11-05 Last updated: 2016-11-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Expressions of context: Studies of schools, families, and health risk behaviours
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expressions of context: Studies of schools, families, and health risk behaviours
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the health behaviours of young people. The main focus is on risk behaviours, i.e. those which may have adverse consequences for health. Two fields of interest are looked at. On the one hand, the thesis explores social determinants of such behaviours, with particular focus on the influence of schools’ structural and social environment on health risk behaviours among youth. On the other hand, the thesis addresses the role of such behaviours in the relationship between childhood social inequalities and adult health. In terms of theory, the study sets out from Coleman's view of the association between structure and agency and the assumption that macro level structures and patterns can be understood on the basis of individual actors’ actions. The thesis consists of four studies addressing different, but related, aspects of the above areas of interest. The overall conclusion of studies I-III is that the school context has direct and indirect effects on young people's risk behaviours. The results of multilevel analyses indicate, more specifically, that students who attend more advantaged schools report more risk behaviours such as smoking, alcohol- and drug use than students at more disadvantaged schools. Self-reported crime is however higher in the more disadvantaged school settings. Further analyses show that a school's social and normative climate also is important for the extent to which youth consume alcohol, smoke, or have used drugs. These risk behaviours are most prevalent in schools where a large proportion of the parents have a more permissive attitude towards alcohol and smoking, and where teacher-rated levels of trust and informal social control (collective efficacy) are high. The results show, further, that school contexts also act indirectly on youth risk behaviours. Young people who reports weak bonds with their parents tend generally to be more involved in risk behaviours than those who report strong bonds. This tendency is reinforced in more advantaged school settings. Finally, Study IV demonstrates that youth risk behaviours act accumulatively and indirectly on later health, rather than directly. Moreover, the importance of risk behaviours for later health varies between the birth cohorts. Health behaviours explain a larger part of the relationship between socioeconomic conditions in childhood and health as an adult in the younger cohort.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2016. 59 p.
Series
Health Equity Studies, ISSN 1651-5390 ; 20
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135348 (URN)978-91-7649-512-4 (ISBN)978-91-7649-513-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-16, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-11-23 Created: 2016-11-05 Last updated: 2016-11-22Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Olsson, Gabriella
By organisation
Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 40 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link