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Growing through asphalt: What counteracts the long-term negative health impact of youth adversity?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
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2017 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 27, no Suppl. 3Article in journal, Meeting abstract (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Adversity in the family of origin tends to translate into poor health development. Yet, the fact that this is not the always the case has been seen an indicator of resilience. The current study highlights factors outside the context of the family with the potential to counteract the long-term negative influences of social and material adversity in adolescence on general health status.

Methods

The study was based on the Northern Swedish Cohort born in 1965 (n = 1,001). Measures of social and material adversity, health, and protective factors related to school, peers, and spare time, were derived from questionnaires distributed to the cohort members and their teachers at age 16. Self-rated health was measured at age 43. The main associations were examined by means of ordinal regression analysis, with the role of the protective factors being assessed through interaction analysis.

Results

Social and material adversity in youth was associated with poorer self-rated health in midlife among males and females alike, net of health status at baseline. However, having an advantaged situation with regard to school, peers, or spare time – particularly in terms of being seen as having good educational and work prospects, as well as a high-quality spare time – appeared to protect against the detrimental influences of disadvantaged circumstances in the family context on subsequent health.

Conclusions

There are several factors outside the context of the family that seemingly have the potential to buffer against the negative health consequences stemming from having experienced a disadvantaged upbringing. Initiatives targeted at increasing academic motivation and commitment as well as social capital and relationships in youth, may here be of particular relevance.

Key messages:

  • While the experience of disadvantageous living conditions in adolescence tends to translate into poor health development across the life course, this is not always the case.

  • Advantages related to school, peers, and spare time have the potential of counteracting the negative health impact of an adverse family context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 27, no Suppl. 3
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-148463DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckx187.120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-148463DiVA, id: diva2:1152706
Conference
10th European Public Health Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, November 1-4, 2017
Available from: 2017-10-26 Created: 2017-10-26 Last updated: 2017-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Almquist, Ylva BJackisch, JosephineRajaleid, KristiinaWesterlund, Hugo
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