CitationHsu, Tze-Li; Choi, Jin Young; & Stykes, James B. (2016). Socioeconomic status and health among transitions from adolescent to early adulthood: Potential mediating factors. 2016 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.
AbstractSocioeconomic status (SES) is a primary predictor of health over the life course. Some assert it has direct effects across different life-course stages and is associated with SES attainment in adulthood (Luo and Waite 2005; Power, Manor, and Matthews 1999; Turrell et al. 2002). Link and Phelan (1995) assert that SES serves as a fundamental cause of overall health. SES is not only associated with gainful activities (e.g., investment in human capital via education and employment), but it is also linked with multiple facets of the life course, including family and health trajectories (Barrett 2003). Moreover, individuals who transition into roles and statuses (e.g., student, employee, spouse) in a manner that adheres to age-based social norms report better health outcomes than their counterparts who deviate from normative trajectories (Lehrer 2008; Ucker 2012). A wealth of scholarship has considered the linkages between SES and health, however, much of this work focuses on mid- and later-life (Luo and Waite 2005; Pavalko and Caputo 2013). Luo and Waite (2005) provide a unique contribution by highlighting the association between childhood health, adult SES, and well-being later in life, and their findings emphasize the role of social mobility to better understand health and well-being across the life course. Yet, their approach arguably focuses on the bookends of the life course and overlooks substantial diversity and heterogeneity in SES attainment during the transition to adulthood. We first review recent work exploring the association between SES and health. We then turn to a growing body of evidence examining accumulative processes between SES and health across the life course with special attention to gainful activities during the transition to adulthood. Based on previous research, this study tries to focus on how gainful activity during the transition to adulthood might serve to increase social mobility (Luo and Waite 2005) or further reinforce cumulative advantage/disadvantage (CAD) theory based on Add Health targeting adolescent and young adulthood in its longitudinal study of adolescent to adult health. This study will discuss childhood SES, gainful activity, and health during the transition to adulthood with special attention to gainful activities as pivotal mediators in the childhood SES-health association using the Add Health data to fill the gap of literature looking at the long-term effects of health across life course.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2016 Add Health Users Conference
Choi, Jin Young
Stykes, James B.