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Maternal Educational Attainment at Birth Promotes Future Self-Rated Health of White but Not Black Youth: A 15-Year Cohort of a National Sample

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      Abstract

      Background: Socioeconomic status (SES) is essential for maintaining health, and self-rated health (SRH) is not an exception to this rule. This study explored racial differences in the protective effects of maternal educational attainment at birth against poor SRH of the youth 15 years later. Methods: Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), this 15-year longitudinal study followed 1934 youths from birth to age 15. This sample was composed of White ( n = 497, 25.7%), and Black ( n = 1437, 74.3%) youths. The independent variable was maternal educational attainment at birth. SRH at age 15 was the dependent variable. Family structure was the covariate. Race was the focal moderator. We ran logistic regression models in the pooled sample, as well as stratified models based on race. Results: In the pooled sample, maternal educational attainment and family structure were not predictive of SRH for the youths at age 15. Race interacted with maternal educational attainment, indicating a stronger association between maternal educational attainment at birth on youth SRH for Whites compared to Blacks. In race stratified models, maternal educational attainment at birth was protective against poor SRH for White but not Black youths. Conclusion: White but not Black youths gain less SRH from their maternal educational attainment. Enhancing education attainment may not have identical effects across racial groups. The health status of Blacks may be less responsive to improvements in maternal educational attainment. Policies should go beyond investing in educational attainment by empowering Black families to better use the educational attainment that they gain. Policies and programs should reduce the costs of upward social mobility for minority families.

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      Self-Rated Health and Mortality: A Review of Twenty-Seven Community Studies

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        Socioeconomic inequalities in health in 22 European countries.

        Comparisons among countries can help to identify opportunities for the reduction of inequalities in health. We compared the magnitude of inequalities in mortality and self-assessed health among 22 countries in all parts of Europe. We obtained data on mortality according to education level and occupational class from census-based mortality studies. Deaths were classified according to cause, including common causes, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer; causes related to smoking; causes related to alcohol use; and causes amenable to medical intervention, such as tuberculosis and hypertension. Data on self-assessed health, smoking, and obesity according to education and income were obtained from health or multipurpose surveys. For each country, the association between socioeconomic status and health outcomes was measured with the use of regression-based inequality indexes. In almost all countries, the rates of death and poorer self-assessments of health were substantially higher in groups of lower socioeconomic status, but the magnitude of the inequalities between groups of higher and lower socioeconomic status was much larger in some countries than in others. Inequalities in mortality were small in some southern European countries and very large in most countries in the eastern and Baltic regions. These variations among countries appeared to be attributable in part to causes of death related to smoking or alcohol use or amenable to medical intervention. The magnitude of inequalities in self-assessed health also varied substantially among countries, but in a different pattern. We observed variation across Europe in the magnitude of inequalities in health associated with socioeconomic status. These inequalities might be reduced by improving educational opportunities, income distribution, health-related behavior, or access to health care. Copyright 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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          Socioeconomic status and child development.

          Socioeconomic status (SES) is one of the most widely studied constructs in the social sciences. Several ways of measuring SES have been proposed, but most include some quantification of family income, parental education, and occupational status. Research shows that SES is associated with a wide array of health, cognitive, and socioemotional outcomes in children, with effects beginning prior to birth and continuing into adulthood. A variety of mechanisms linking SES to child well-being have been proposed, with most involving differences in access to material and social resources or reactions to stress-inducing conditions by both the children themselves and their parents. For children, SES impacts well-being at multiple levels, including both family and neighborhood. Its effects are moderated by children's own characteristics, family characteristics, and external support systems.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            [2 ]Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA; cleoc@ 123456umich.edu
            [3 ]Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            [4 ]Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being, New York, NY 10027-5927, USA; rmincysr@ 123456gmail.com
            [5 ]Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), New York, NY 10027-5927, USA
            [6 ]Columbia School of Social Work, New York, NY 10027-5927, USA
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: assari@ 123456umich.edu ; Tel.: +1-734-232-0445
            Journal
            J Clin Med
            J Clin Med
            jcm
            Journal of Clinical Medicine
            MDPI
            2077-0383
            01 May 2018
            May 2018
            : 7
            : 5
            29723957
            5977132
            10.3390/jcm7050093
            jcm-07-00093
            © 2018 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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