Intergenerational educational mobility and health satisfaction across the life course: Does the long arm of childhood conditions only become visible later in life?

Steiber N (2019). Intergenerational educational mobility and health satisfaction across the life course: Does the long arm of childhood conditions only become visible later in life? Social Science and Medicine 242: e112603. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112603.

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Abstract

The contemporaneous association of socioeconomic status (SES) with health is well-established, whereas much less is known about the health-related effects of social mobility (i.e., movements across different SES). This study investigates the impact of SES in childhood and adulthood on health satisfaction across the life course. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and education as a central marker of SES, we test whether parental education (i.e., childhood SES) affects adult health satisfaction, directly and/or indirectly through own educational attainment (i.e., adult SES) as a mediating variable. Moreover, we apply diagonal reference models to disentangle the independent effect of intergenerational educational mobility. Our findings show that parental education has both direct and indirect effects. Yet, the relative weight of parents’ education as a predictor of health satisfaction is found to depend on when in the life course health satisfaction is measured: parental education shows an increasing relevance as a predictor of health satisfaction at higher ages. On top of (additive) effects of parental and own education, we find significant mobility effects in earlier adulthood: upward educational mobility is conducive to health satisfaction and the reverse for downward educational mobility.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Socioeconomic status; Education; Social mobility; Intergenerational; Health; Satisfaction; Life course; Diagonal reference model
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 06:28
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2019 07:02
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16115

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