Material Hardship, Perceived Stress, and Health in Early Adulthood

Citation

Huang, Y.; Heflin, C. M.; & Validova, A. (2020). Material Hardship, Perceived Stress, and Health in Early Adulthood. Ann Epidemiol.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We examined the associations between material hardship and health outcomes in early adulthood, and the extent to which these associations are mediated by perceived stress. METHODS: We used Wave I & IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative survey of young adults aged 18 to 34 years old (N=13,313). Multivariate logistic regression and decomposition methods were used to evaluate the associations between types and depth of material hardship (food, bill-paying and health resource hardship) and health outcomes (self-rated health, depression, sleep problems, and suicidal thoughts) in early adulthood, and the extent to which these associations were mediated by perceived stress. RESULTS: The adjusted odds of fair or poor health status, depression, sleep problems, and suicidal thoughts were higher among individuals with material hardship than counterparts without. A considerable proportion of the association between material hardship and health outcomes was attributable to perceived stress. CONCLUSIONS: Material hardship is associated with adverse health outcomes in early adulthood, and these relationships are robust after accounting for various sociodemographic characteristics and family background. Perceived stress accounted for a sizable portion of the effects of material hardship on health. PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS: Efforts to promote health equity in young adults should focus on material hardship and associated stressful conditions.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.017

Keyword(s)

early adulthood

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Ann Epidemiol

Author(s)

Huang, Y.
Heflin, C. M.
Validova, A.

Year Published

2020

ISSN/ISBN

1047-2797

DOI

10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.08.017

Reference ID

5960