Youth survival expectations: Forecasts for future health


Duke, Naomi N.; McMorris, Barbara J.; & Borowsky, Iris W. (2014). Youth survival expectations: Forecasts for future health. 2014 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Objective: In national studies, some otherwise healthy youth report they will not live into adulthood. Belief in risk for premature death is more prevalent among youth of color, and may become a self-fulfilling prophecy as youth give up on future life investment. The purpose of this study is to describe the relationship between youth survival perceptions and health in adulthood. Methods: Data are from Waves I-IV of the in-home interviews from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The study sample includes 10,120 respondents participating in all waves (11-34 years). Linear and logistic regression models are used to determine the predictive ability of low perceived survival (Waves I-III), defined as a belief in a 50-50 chance or less of survival to age 35 years, on health measures, including diagnostic profiles, reproductive outcomes, and cardiovascular/inflammatory (blood pressure; heart rate; hs-c-reactive protein) biomarkers. Preliminary/Anticipated Results: Persistence in low perceived survival and uncertainty in survival perception over time are associated with disease burden and poor cardiovascular health indicators in adulthood (Wave IV). Mediators of these relationships will include health behaviors, subjective weathering, and educational attainment. Discussion: Examination of youth survival expectations represents a unique mechanism to address health disparities by establishing a link between survival perceptions and long-term health outcomes.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2014 Add Health Users Conference


Duke, Naomi N.
McMorris, Barbara J.
Borowsky, Iris W.

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID