Pathways linking childhood SES and adult health behaviors and psychological resources in black and white men

Jennifer Morozink Boylan, Jenny M. Cundiff, Karen P. Jakubowski, Dustin Pardini, Karen A. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Exposure to low socioeconomic status (SES) in childhood predicts increased morbidity and mortality. However, little prospective evidence is available to test pathways linking low childhood SES to adult health. Purpose: In the current study, indirect effects through positive parenting in adolescence and adult SES were tested in the association between childhood SES and adult health behaviors and psychological resources. Methods: Men (n = 305; 53% Black) were followed longitudinally from ages 7 to 32. SES was measured annually in childhood (ages 7-9) and again in adulthood (age 32) using the Hollingshead index. Parenting was assessed annually (ages 13-16) using caregivers' and boys' self-report of supervision, communication, and expectations for their son's future. Health behaviors (cigarette and alcohol use, fruit and vegetable consumption, and physical activity) and psychological resources (optimism, purpose in life, self-mastery, and self-esteem) were assessed in adulthood (age 32). Results: Structural equation modeling showed that higher childhood SES was associated with more positive parenting in adolescence and higher adult SES. Higher childhood SES was indirectly associated with healthier behaviors and higher psychological resources in adulthood through pathways involving positive parenting during adolescence and SES in adulthood. Findings were consistent in both racial groups. Conclusions: Positive parenting in adolescence was an important pathway in understanding associations among childhood SES and health behaviors and psychological resources in adulthood. Low childhood SES was prospectively associated with healthier behaviors and greater psychological resources in part through more positive parenting in adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1035
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume52
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Childhood
  • Health behaviors
  • Parenting
  • Psychological resources
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pathways linking childhood SES and adult health behaviors and psychological resources in black and white men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this