Life-course financial strain and health in African-Americans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Differential exposure to financial strain may explain some differences in population health. However, few studies have examined the cumulative health effect of financial strain across the life-course. Studies that have are limited to self-reported health measures. Our objective was to examine the associations between childhood, adulthood, and life-course, or cumulative, financial strain with disability, lung function, cognition, and depression. In a population-based cross-sectional cohort study of adult African-American twins enrolled in the US Carolina African American Twin Study of Aging (CAATSA), we found that participants who reported financial strain as children and as adults are more likely to be physically disabled, and report more depressive symptoms than their unstrained counterparts. Participants who reported childhood financial strain had lower cognitive functioning than those with no childhood financial strain. We were unable to detect a difference in lung function beyond the effect of actual income and education in those who reported financial strain compared to those who did not. Financial strain in adulthood was more consistently associated with poor health than was childhood financial strain, a finding that suggests targeting adult financial strain could help prevent disability and depression among African-American adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume71
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Fingerprint

financial strain
African Americans
Health
Depression
health
Lung
Twin Studies
childhood
Disabled Persons
Cognition
Population
Cohort Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies
adulthood
Education
disability
American
Life Course
Childhood
twin studies

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Disability
  • Ethnicity
  • Financial strain
  • Lifecourse
  • Twins
  • USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Life-course financial strain and health in African-Americans. / Szanton, Sarah L; Thorpe, Roland J; Whitfield, Keith.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 71, No. 2, 07.2010, p. 259-265.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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