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From childhood socio-economic position to adult educational level - do health behaviours in adolescence matter? A longitudinal study.

Koivusilta LK, West P, Saaristo VM, Nummi T, Rimpelä AH - BMC Public Health (2013)

Bottom Line: The effect of family background on adult level of education operated mainly through school career.Only a weak pathway which did not go through school career was observed from behaviours to adult education.The interplay between behaviours and educational pathways in adolescence is suggested as one of the mechanisms leading to health inequalities in adulthood.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University Consortium of Seinäjoki, Seinäjoki Technology and Innovation Centre,, University of Tampere, School of Health Sciences, Kampusranta 9C, Seinäjoki FIN-60320, Finland. leena.koivusilta@uta.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Our interest was in how health behaviours in early and late adolescence are related to educational level in adulthood. The main focus was in the interplay between school career and health behaviours in adolescence. Our conceptual model included school career and health-compromising (HCB) and health-enhancing (HEB) behaviours as well as family background. Two hypotheses were tested: 1) the primary role of school career in shaping educational level in adulthood (an unsuccessful school career in adolescence leads to HCB and not adopting HEB and to low educational level in adulthood); 2) the primary role of health behaviours (HCB and not adopting HEB in adolescence leads to a school career with low education in adulthood).

Methods: Mailed surveys to 12 to18 year-old Finns in 1981-1991 (N=15,167, response rate 82%) were individually linked with the Register of Completed Education and Degrees (28 to 32-year-olds). We applied structural equation modeling to study relations of latent variables (family SEP, family structure, school career, HCB, HEB) in adolescence, to the educational level in adulthood.

Results: Standardized regression coefficients between school career and health behaviours were equally strong whether the direction was from school career to HEB (0.21-0.28 for 12-14 years; 0.38-0.40 for 16-18 years) or from HEB to school career (0.21-0.22; 0.28-0.29); and correspondingly from school career to HCB (0.23-0.31; 0.31-0.32) or from HCB to school career (0.20-0.24; 0.22-0.22). The effect of family background on adult level of education operated mainly through school career. Only a weak pathway which did not go through school career was observed from behaviours to adult education.

Conclusions: Both hypotheses fitted the data showing a strong mutual interaction of school achievement and adoption of HCB and HEB in early and late adolescence. Both hypotheses acknowledged the crucial role of family background. The pathway from health behaviours in adolescence to adult education runs through school career. The interplay between behaviours and educational pathways in adolescence is suggested as one of the mechanisms leading to health inequalities in adulthood.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Standardized regression estimates for statistically significant (t test) in the fitted structural equation models: Basic model for boys and girls aged 12 and 14 years (top panel) and 16 and 18 years (lower panel) at the baseline.
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Figure 2: Standardized regression estimates for statistically significant (t test) in the fitted structural equation models: Basic model for boys and girls aged 12 and 14 years (top panel) and 16 and 18 years (lower panel) at the baseline.

Mentions: We first tested the model without health behaviours (the basic model) in order to estimate the strength of the relationships between family background, school career and adult educational level. The significant associations in Figure 2 show a strong pathway from family background (SEP and family structure) to adult education through school career in all age-sex groups and, except for 16–18 year-old girls, a weak association from family background to adult education.


From childhood socio-economic position to adult educational level - do health behaviours in adolescence matter? A longitudinal study.

Koivusilta LK, West P, Saaristo VM, Nummi T, Rimpelä AH - BMC Public Health (2013)

Standardized regression estimates for statistically significant (t test) in the fitted structural equation models: Basic model for boys and girls aged 12 and 14 years (top panel) and 16 and 18 years (lower panel) at the baseline.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750376&req=5

Figure 2: Standardized regression estimates for statistically significant (t test) in the fitted structural equation models: Basic model for boys and girls aged 12 and 14 years (top panel) and 16 and 18 years (lower panel) at the baseline.
Mentions: We first tested the model without health behaviours (the basic model) in order to estimate the strength of the relationships between family background, school career and adult educational level. The significant associations in Figure 2 show a strong pathway from family background (SEP and family structure) to adult education through school career in all age-sex groups and, except for 16–18 year-old girls, a weak association from family background to adult education.

Bottom Line: The effect of family background on adult level of education operated mainly through school career.Only a weak pathway which did not go through school career was observed from behaviours to adult education.The interplay between behaviours and educational pathways in adolescence is suggested as one of the mechanisms leading to health inequalities in adulthood.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University Consortium of Seinäjoki, Seinäjoki Technology and Innovation Centre,, University of Tampere, School of Health Sciences, Kampusranta 9C, Seinäjoki FIN-60320, Finland. leena.koivusilta@uta.fi

ABSTRACT

Background: Our interest was in how health behaviours in early and late adolescence are related to educational level in adulthood. The main focus was in the interplay between school career and health behaviours in adolescence. Our conceptual model included school career and health-compromising (HCB) and health-enhancing (HEB) behaviours as well as family background. Two hypotheses were tested: 1) the primary role of school career in shaping educational level in adulthood (an unsuccessful school career in adolescence leads to HCB and not adopting HEB and to low educational level in adulthood); 2) the primary role of health behaviours (HCB and not adopting HEB in adolescence leads to a school career with low education in adulthood).

Methods: Mailed surveys to 12 to18 year-old Finns in 1981-1991 (N=15,167, response rate 82%) were individually linked with the Register of Completed Education and Degrees (28 to 32-year-olds). We applied structural equation modeling to study relations of latent variables (family SEP, family structure, school career, HCB, HEB) in adolescence, to the educational level in adulthood.

Results: Standardized regression coefficients between school career and health behaviours were equally strong whether the direction was from school career to HEB (0.21-0.28 for 12-14 years; 0.38-0.40 for 16-18 years) or from HEB to school career (0.21-0.22; 0.28-0.29); and correspondingly from school career to HCB (0.23-0.31; 0.31-0.32) or from HCB to school career (0.20-0.24; 0.22-0.22). The effect of family background on adult level of education operated mainly through school career. Only a weak pathway which did not go through school career was observed from behaviours to adult education.

Conclusions: Both hypotheses fitted the data showing a strong mutual interaction of school achievement and adoption of HCB and HEB in early and late adolescence. Both hypotheses acknowledged the crucial role of family background. The pathway from health behaviours in adolescence to adult education runs through school career. The interplay between behaviours and educational pathways in adolescence is suggested as one of the mechanisms leading to health inequalities in adulthood.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus