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CONTRASTING CONCURRENT AND CHILDHOOD SOCIOECONOMIC PREDICTORS OF SELF-RATED HEALTH AMONG OLDER EUROPEAN MEN AND WOMEN

  • Georgia Verropoulou (a1) and Maria Zakynthinou (a1)
Summary

This study aimed to assess the relative importance of childhood and adulthood socioeconomic position (SEP) on the self-rated health (SRH) of men and women aged 50 or higher in Europe, controlling for a substantial number of mediators and health conditions. Data from Wave 2 (current data) and Wave 3 (retrospective material) of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) were combined (N=20,829) and logistic regression models applied; the analysis was carried out for males and females separately. The findings indicate that concurrent and past SEP, when considered separately, are both very significant predictors of SRH. When all factors were included in a comprehensive model most childhood and adult SEP variables retained their significance, implying that both types of socioeconomic circumstances have a strong and independent effect on SRH. However, the relative importance of several childhood indicators was reduced, signifying that their effect on SRH is mediated by adult SEP and, especially, educational attainment. Some childhood predictors, such as having experienced a period of hunger, remained very significant. Though these findings roughly hold for both sexes, the relative effects differentiate by sex. Current SEP is more important among women, with the exception of income and ‘making ends meet in the household’. Childhood SEP indicators are more significant among men.

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Corresponding author
1 Corresponding author. Email: gverrop@unipi.gr
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