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      Socioeconomic differences in children's health: How and why do these relationships change with age?

      , ,
      Psychological Bulletin
      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          The effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on health are well documented in adulthood, but far less is known about its effects in childhood. The authors reviewed the literature and found support for a childhood SES effect, whereby each decrease in SES was associated with an increased health risk. The authors explored how this relationship changed as children underwent normal developmental changes and proposed 3 models to describe the temporal patterns. The authors found that a model's capacity to explain SES-health relationships varied across health outcomes. Childhood injury showed stronger relationships with SES at younger ages, whereas smoking showed stronger relationships with SES in adolescence. Finally, the authors proposed a developmental approach to exploring mechanisms that link SES and child health.

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          Most cited references233

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          Racial Differences in Physical and Mental Health: Socio-economic Status, Stress and Discrimination.

          This article examines the extent to which racial differences in socio-economic status (SES), social class and acute and chronic indicators of perceived discrimination, as well as general measures of stress can account for black-white differences in self-reported measures of physical and mental health. The observed racial differences in health were markedly reduced when adjusted for education and especially income. However, both perceived discrimination and more traditional measures of stress are related to health and play an incremental role in accounting for differences between the races in health status. These findings underscore the need for research efforts to identify the complex ways in which economic and non-economic forms of discrimination relate to each other and combine with socio-economic position and other risk factors and resources to affect health.
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            The sense of control as a moderator of social class differences in health and well-being.

            The authors examined social class differences in 2 aspects of the sense of control (mastery and perceived constraints) in 3 national probability samples of men and women ages 25-75 years (N1 = 1,014; N2 = 1,195; N3 = 3,485). Participants with lower income had lower perceived mastery and higher perceived constraints, as well as poorer health. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that for all income groups, higher perceived mastery and lower perceived constraints were related to better health, greater life satisfaction, and lower depressive symptoms. However, control beliefs played a moderating role; participants in the lowest income group with a high sense of control showed levels of health and well-being comparable with the higher income groups. The results provided some evidence that psychosocial variables such as sense of control may be useful in understanding social class differences in health.
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              Mechanisms in the cycle of violence.

              Two questions concerning the effect of physical abuse in early childhood on the child's development of aggressive behavior are the focus of this article. The first is whether abuse per se has deleterious effects. In earlier studies, in which samples were nonrepresentative and family ecological factors (such as poverty, marital violence, and family instability) and child biological variables (such as early health problems and temperament) were ignored, findings have been ambiguous. Results from a prospective study of a representative sample of 309 children indicated that physical abuse is indeed a risk factor for later aggressive behavior even when the other ecological and biological factors are known. The second question concerns the processes by which antisocial development occurs in abused children. Abused children tended to acquire deviant patterns of processing social information, and these may mediate the development of aggressive behavior.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Bulletin
                Psychological Bulletin
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1455
                0033-2909
                2002
                2002
                : 128
                : 2
                : 295-329
                Article
                10.1037/0033-2909.128.2.295
                11931521
                9a87f3b0-37ae-4522-af83-5ce7d210d3cc
                © 2002
                History

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