Socioeconomic and Demographic Correlates of a Self-Rated Health Trajectory in Young Adulthood

Shawn Bauldry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Michael J. Shanahan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Although research addressing the socioeconomic health gradient is voluminous, very little is known about how race/ethnicity moderates the influence of socioeconomic factors on health or the mechanisms that may account for such differences. In this study we use data from four waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to explore potential racial/ethnic moderators and mechanisms in trajectories of self-rated health from adolescence to mid-adulthood. We find significant variation in levels of self-rated health, but a relatively stable trajectory from ages 12 to 32. We see a significant increase in mean levels of self-rated health in Wave 3 and then a decrease in Wave 4. Both of these changes differ by race/ethnicity and parental SES. We plan to examine mediating mechanisms that may explain these differences prior to the PAA.

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Presented in Poster Session 2