Social stratification and adolescent overweight in the United States: How income and educational resources matter across families and schools

Citation

Martin, Molly A.; Frisco, Michelle L.; Nau, Claudia; & Burnett, Kristin (2012). Social stratification and adolescent overweight in the United States: How income and educational resources matter across families and schools. Social Science and Medicine. vol. 74 (4) pp. 597-606 , PMCID: PMC3270154

Abstract

The current study examines how poverty and education in both the family and school contexts influence adolescent weight. Prior research has produced an incomplete and often counterintuitive picture. We develop a framework to better understand how income and education operate alone and in conjunction with each other across families and schools. We test it by analyzing data from Wave 1 of the U.S.-based National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 16,133 in 132 schools) collected in 1994–1995. Using hierarchical logistic regression models and parallel indicators of family- and school-level poverty and educational resources, we find that at the family-level, parent's education, but not poverty status, is associated with adolescent overweight. At the school-level, the concentration of poverty within a school, but not the average level of parent's education, is associated with adolescent overweight. Further, increases in school poverty diminish the effectiveness of adolescents' own parents' education for protecting against the risks of overweight. The findings make a significant contribution by moving beyond the investigation of a single socioeconomic resource or social context. The findings push us to more fully consider when, where, and why money and education matter independently and jointly across health-related contexts.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.006

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Science and Medicine

Author(s)

Martin, Molly A.
Frisco, Michelle L.
Nau, Claudia
Burnett, Kristin

Year Published

2012

Volume Number

74

Issue Number

4

Pages

597-606

DOI

10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.11.006

PMCID

PMC3270154

NIHMSID

NIHMS349676

Reference ID

1511