CitationShuey, Kim M.; Willson, Andrea E.; & Hackshaw, Travis (2020). Family Structure and Parents’ Health: Implications for the Reproduction of Health Inequality across Generations. Journal of Family Issues.
AbstractEarly life disadvantage has enduring effects on health into adulthood. In this analysis, we are interested in the social reproduction of health inequality across generations within families. We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a representative sample of U.S. adolescents in grades 7–12 and their parents (N = 11,171) interviewed during the 1994–1995 school year and followed into young adulthood. We investigate whether the intersection of family structure and parents’ health predicts poor health in early adulthood and several potential explanations for health continuity across generations. We also examine whether social mobility across generations changes the association between parent and child health. Results indicate an intergenerational persistence in health, net of childhood socioeconomic context, childhood health, educational attainment, and social mobility. Findings suggest that adult health reflects the transmission of resources and practices across generations within one’s family, reproducing health inequalities.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleJournal of Family Issues
Author(s)Shuey, Kim M.
Willson, Andrea E.