The Timing of Early-Life Health and Socioeconomic Disadvantage

Margot I. Jackson, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper addresses the importance of the timing of a health or socioeconomic disadvantage during childhood. Specifically, it has two goals. First, I ask whether some periods of exposure to disadvantage during childhood are more important than others. Are there key points during childhood in which simultaneously experiencing an important educational transition with a health or socioeconomic disadvantage is particularly detrimental for later-life well-being? Secondly, does such a disadvantage affect all later points in an individual’s life equally, or do the effects cumulate or attenuate over time? I will examine these questions using data from the British National Child Development Study (NCDS), unique life course data from the U.K., a context with many similarities but also a few important differences to the U.S.

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Presented in Session 133: Life Course Perspectives on Health: Effects of Early Environments