CitationWickrama, T.; Merten, M. J.; & Wickrama, K. A. S. (2012). Early community influence on young adult physical health: Race/ethnicity and gender differences. Advances in Life Course Research. vol. 17 (1) pp. 25-33
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine the implications of childhood community contexts in the U.S. for physical health problems related to impaired metabolic conditions, and coronary/cardiovascular diseases during young adulthood. Data came from Waves 1 and 4 (1995 and 2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 11,845). Multilevel logistic-normal regression was used to examine the relative risk or odds ratios of physical health problems in young adulthood (2008), based on both 1990 census level and 1995 survey data. Childhood community disadvantage and minority concentration increased the risk of young adult obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. However, the influence of both community disadvantage and minority concentration on young adult physical health outcomes differed by race/ethnicity. Our findings clearly point to the increased risk of physical health problems related to coronary and cardiovascular diseases when a child is raised in an adverse and minority concentrated community. This influence of the community was pervasive and independent of family characteristics. Programs should combat adverse community conditions and enhance resiliencies of youth and families living in such communities.
Keyword(s)Racial/Ethnic Minorities & Health Gender & Health
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleAdvances in Life Course Research
Merten, M. J.
Wickrama, K. A. S.